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ALLEN COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY

3 1833 01737 1458

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GENEALOGY 911 ,1 P176 1923

The Palimpsest EDITED BY

JOHN ELY BRIGGS

VOLUME IV JANUAEY TO DECEMBER 1923

PUBLISHED MONTHLY BY

THE STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF IOWA IOWA CITY IOWA 1923

Copyright 1923 by

The State Historical Society of Iowa

CONTENTS Number The Siege

1

— January 1923

of Corinth

Clint Parkhurst

1

The Iowa Thespians

Bruce E. Mahan

14

Pleasant Hill Dramatics

Bruce E. Mahan

25

Comment by

the Editor

Number

2

30



CONTENTS

iv

Number

— April 1923

4

A. Gallaher

101

Eighty-One Josephine Barey Donovan

113

Ben Hur Wilson

121

Kuth

The Iowa The Winter

of

Tesson's Apple Orchard

-iqo

Comment by

the Editor

Number

5

— May 1923

The First Iowa Field Day

'

Bob

' '

A. Swisher

151

170

the Editor

Number '

137

J.

The Capital on Wheels

Comment by

Bruce E. Mahan

Burdette

6

— June 1923

— Humorist McNally

173

Josephine Barry Donovan

193

Sherman Grasshopper Times

Comment by

203

the Editor

Number Pointing the

J.

Way

The Discovery

to

7

Iowa

— July 1923 Laenas G. Weld

205

Bruce E. Mahan

215

CONTENTS Ruth

Father Marquette Louis Joliet

Comment by

V Middaugh

229

John Ely Brigqs

240

B.

249

the Editor

Number

8

— August 1923

Restorer of Iowa Palimpsests

An Iowa

Bertha M. H, Shambaugh

253

Jocelyn Wallace

267

Doone Band

Comment by

281

the Editor

Number

9

— September 1923

The Early lowans

A

Pioneer Journey

301

Bruce E. Mahan

307

10

321

— October 1923

Army

Lieutenant Jefferson Davis

Comment by

M. D. Burrows

the Editor

Number Kelly's

285

J.

Bridging the Cedar

Comment by

Geo, F. Robeson

the Editor

McMurry

325

Dorothy MacBride

346

Donald

L.

358

^

CONTENTS

Number

11

— November 1923

Over the Rapids

Ben Hur Wilson

361

The Scotch Grove Trail

Bruce E. Mahan

379

Comment by

Number The Scrap-Books

12

— December 1923

Lady with Bertha M. H. Shambaugh

of a Quiet Little

Silvery Hair

Comment by

398

the Editor

401

428

the Editor

Index

431

Illustrations James Wilson

facing

The Iowa

facing 106

The Tesson Apple Orchard Robert

J.

Site

(Map)

Burdette

65

facing 130 facing 173

Father Marquette

facing 212

Louis Joliet

facing 244

Facsimile of Herbert Quick's Autograph

facing 253

The Head

facing 372

of the

Des Moines Rapids (Map)

The Selkirk Settlement (Map)

facing 388

Jane Clark Kirkwood

facing 401

je«)N^imTs I

t-

3Che Seg^^ol^

/

>wa

C^

ICtrNt PARkHtlRST;:

I

nespi^ns

Bruce

E.

MAWan

30

Comment Tri£ Editor^

.PuBUSHED MoNTHiyAr lowACmr By

IHE State HiirfoM SocieiyofIowa ENTCRED AS SECOND CLASS MATTER JULY 28 1920 AT THE POST OFFICE AT IOWA CITY IOWA UNDER THE ACT OF AUSUST 24 1912

THE PURPOSE OF THIS MAGAZINE The Palimpsest,

issued monthly

by the

State His-

devoted to the dissemination of Iowa History. Supplementing the other publications of this Society, it aims to present the materials of Iowa History in a form that is attractive and a style that is popular in the best sense to the end that the story of our Commonwealth may be more widely read torical Society of Iowa, is



and cherished. BENJ. F.

Shambaugh Superintendeni

THE MEANING OF PALIMPSESTS were parchments or other which one or more writings had been

In early times palimpsests

materials from

room

But the erasbecame the fascinating task of scholars not only to translate the later records but also to reconstruct the origineJ writings by deciphering the dim fragments of letters partly erased and partly covered by subsequent texts. erased to give

ures

for later records.

were not always complete; and so

it

The history of Iowa may be likened to a palimpsest which holds the records of successive generations. To decipher these records of the past, reconstruct them, tell the stories which they contain is the task of

and

who

those

— lOc

PRICE

write history.

per copy: $1 per year: free to

ADDRESS — The

members

of Society

State Historical Society Iowa City Iowa

Palimpsest EDITED BY JOHN ELY BRIGGS Vol. IV

Issued

in

January 1923

No.

1

COPYRIGHT 1923 BY THE STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF IOWA

The

Siege of Corinth

The reader of history is usually informed that on such a day General So-and-so moved on such a road, or in such a direction, and occupied such a point with so many men, with the view of accomplishing some certain stated purpose. This clear, precise, and definite view of the matter is not taken by the rank and A commandfile who march in the general's army. ing general has no time to arrange and exhibit plans with explanatory comments, for the enlightenment of his army. It would be very injudicious for him to do so if he could. Officers and soldiers are nearly always in utmost ignorance of what is about to be attempted (unless a charge is impending, on which occasion they are, or should be, informed), but it is their business to fall in at the tap of the drum, and march where glory or disaster awaits them. No matter how wise the captains or lieutenants look, they know no more about what is in contemplation

THE PALIMPSEST

2



whose orders than the men do. Even the colonel are more imperial and more certain to be carried out than the political schemes of a king or president even that autocrat, five times out of ten, is ignorant of where he is going or what he is going for. Our colonel, the redoubtable Alexander Chambers, never seemed to care, but mounted his horse, gave his comas mands, and led the way like a human machine





a colonel should do.

The real advance of Halleck's army upon Corinth began on April 29, 1862. My private journal describes our first move. "On Tuesday noon I arrived in camp from a toilsome detail. I had barely time to swallow a dinner before the drums beat to fall in line. Orders had come to move without tents or knapsacks, and with a day's rations in our haversacks. Of our own volition we also left our blankets and overcoats behind us, in order to be free of incumbrance and ready for the fray. The brigade moved in a body, and our course was apparently my's stronghold.

in the direction of the ene-

''The afternoon was hot.

Our

line of

march was

sometimes rough, and at other times lay through For a while we would pass through cool and shady woods, filled with the odors of flowers, shrubbery, and sweet blossoms, and then emerge into a clearing that formed the homestead of some hardy farmer, whose log cabin, dogs, and half-terrified children seemed a mute protest against the barpleasant places.

THE SIEGE OF CORINTH

3

Pushing down a few yards of his rail we would march on through green meadows

barity of war. fence,

and fragrant orchards. Many little homes, half concealed by foliage, excited our envy. If we grew enthusiastic over the natural beauties around us, some swamp was sure to obstruct our way. 'Forward would be the word, and forward our column would move through water and mud knee deep, amid the shouting of the officers and the swearing of the men. At the end of every hour we would halt five or !

'

ten minutes to rest. *'At about dusk several regiments of Union cavalry passed us, galloping to the rear. In reply to

where they had been, one trooper of Nod, where 's there's forty devils and no God.' With more courtesy, an officer reined in and said they had been raiding on the enemy's flank, and had burnt two railroad bridges and also captured a locomotive. ''After dark the march was more difficult than ever. We floundered through swamps and through brush and every sort of jungle, and the Recording Angel must have had a severe night's work of it, to judge by the multiplicity of oaths we showered around. At ten o'clock the welcome order to halt was given. After forming a line of battle, and receiving strict instructions to build no fires, we stacked arms and slept on the ground without covering or bedding of any description. "At daylight we rose, and with some disregard of

inquiries as to

yelled: 'To the

Land

THE PALIMPSEST

4

orders, built a long line of blazing bonfires. After drying ourselves, and feeding on crackers and bacon, we fell into -line and moved still further towards Corinth. We had proceeded only about a mile when we came to a halt and faced about, intelligence having been officially sent that some point we had been ordered to drive the enemy from had been already occupied by Union troops. The news was not gratefully heard, and with loud grumbling we started back, reaching camp in the afternoon, much worn by

the expedition.

''May 1st we broke camp, taking tents and equipage with us, and after traversing a delightful region, came to our present location a few miles south of the State line of Tennessee, and on the sacred soil



of Mississippi.

I

am

sitting in a cool grove, the

boughs of which are filled with feathered songsters. In front of me flows a limpid brook, and on a little eminence beyond are twelve pieces of artillery, frowning in the direction of Corinth." The next morning we pushed on again over excellent roads till we came to the hamlet of Monterey, from which the enemy had been shelled. Fragments of old tents, knapsacks, clothing of all kinds, commissary stores, and a little of everything imaginable, were flung around promiscuously. Along the route we had come, we found the grain fields trampled, fences torn down, farms deserted, houses riddled with cannon shot or shell, and dead horses lying about everywhere, for there had been much cavalry fighting.

For the

first

time

we saw a

field

of cotton,

;

THE SIEGE OF CORINTH

5

and more than ever realized we were in Dixie. A citizen yet lingering around the wreck of Monterey, told

me

ates

who came flying by his home were

that after the battle of Shiloh, the Confederin utter panic

that discipline

and organization were gone, and that

was every

devil for himself to get to Corinth."

*'it

On

the afternoon of

nonading ahead. five

We

I sat

May

3d we heard heavy canon a fence and counted fifty-

guns, fired about as fast as I could count them. afterwards learned that the enemy had been

driven out of Farmington. The next day we moved forward two miles, and occupied a heavy line of

works, with troops in line of battle on either side of us. There a slight military misfortune befell me.

A

corporal struck me a blow in the face. For retorting with the butt of a musket, I was arrested on the of ''smiting an charge as the boys phrased it inferior officer." After passing a night in the guard-





was ordered to my company for duty. Thus far we had not encountered the enemy, although expecting to at any hour, as skirmishing and fighting were going on continually. On the 16th we pressed his lines for the first time, while making another advance, and skirmishers deployed in force tent, I

at the front of our brigade.

A

lively fight

ensued

immediately, without formalities, and leaden ''episIn tles to the Corinthians" flew thick and fast.

grape Confederand canister, the woods were cleared of ates, and, advancing to a position that seemed satisfactory, we halted and threw up a line of works. about an hour, with the assistance of a

little

THE PALIMPSEST

6

performed ''grand guard" duty for the first time. We marched into the woods a little to the rear of the skirmish line, and remained there all night, in one body, in readiness to repulse any heavy attack the enemy might make. A few men from each company did sentry duty, in order to give alarm in case of danger, and the others, with accoutrements on, were allowed to lie on the ground and sleep. I happened to be one of those on guard. Extremely tired, and not being well accustomed to marching as yet, in the warm, close atmosphere of a dense wood, we found it difficult to keep awake. Resorting to various expedients, I fell at last to wooing the muses, and evolved the follow-

That

night

regiment

our

ing:

ODE TO THE PLANET MAES

Red star of War while armies sleep. To march to slaughter at the dawn, !

mine a faithful watch to keep. Lest suddenly the foe come on.

'Tis

gloomy wood. Alarmed at some portentous sound, Then gaze on thee, red orb of blood. Whose beams a warring world confound.

I peer into the

0,

from among the

stars retire,

Elsewhere send forth thy rays malign,

Thou

baleful globe of restless

Man 's

blood

is

fire,

poured for thee

like wine.

THE SIEGE OF CORINTH The next afternoon

7

I strolled along our lines to

view the stirring operations in progress. Mounting a breastwork, I walked on the top of it for more than a mile, and was told by an officer that to his personal knowledge, it extended three miles beyond that point.

It

was occupied by

troops, of course,

with batteries at intervals. I had no sooner returned from this ramble than the pickets and skirmishers of our part of the line were driven in by the Confederates, with much shooting, and many piercing variations of the famous ''rebel yell". The drums rolled and the troops fell

everywhere the pickets were promptly reinforced and the enemy was driven back. Our brigade was ordered to pack up, send tents, wagons, and baggage to the rear, and be ready to move at a moment's

in

;

notice.

In the afternoon the skirmish line was again driven in, and rebel batteries opened on our bivouac, pelting us in a lively manner. Most of the missiles were shells. Our batteries responded, and for a time it sounded as though the battle we had been so long regiexpecting was really about to commence. ment of infantry went on the double-quick down into the woods, and after some heavy volleys of musketry, we heard that one of the enemy's batteries had been

A

General Morgan L. Smith's brigade had a sharp fight that day also, somewhere on the line beyond us. All day long, and through most of the captured.

night, the

booming of cannon and

rattle of small

8

THE PALIMPSEST

arms was heard along the front of the army, which must have been a distance of ten or fifteen miles. On the next day a heavy thunder storm swept over the camps and lines of both armies. Peals of thunder echoed and bellowed through the wide woods, as though in rivalry of the noise of cannonading. Our part of the line was close to Corinth then so close that when the universal uproar quieted some we could hear the whistling of locomotives and the rumbling of trains. Deserters came stealing across



to our picket lines daily, to surrender.

uniform

They

told a

tale of miserable rations, half-rations, im-

A

general conpressments, and military executions. scription act was being enforced with great severity, and, as Grant afterwards tersely expressed

it,

the

Confederate government was robbing the cradle and the grave to fill its armies. Grey-haired men and half-grown boys were alike dragged from home to become food for powder. These deserters also said a scarcity of water was causing sickness and many deaths in Beauregard's camps. Not only was water scarce, but foul water had to be used, greatly injuring the health of the troops. Water was also scarce in the Union camps, at the front of our division at least, and on May 21st a bloody engagement occurred for the possession of a creek that lay between the rival skirmish lines. A party of the enemy stole through the woods to obtain water, and found a lot of our pickets at the creek. A fight ensued, both sides being reinforced, and after

THE SIEGE OF CORINTH obstinate combat our

men

9

held possession of tbe

A few hours afterwards the enemy shelled camps, picket reserves, and skirmish lines viciously our batteries replied with spirit, and some heavy volleys of musketry indicated that another All day fight for water had probably commenced. skirmishers the the two armies blazed away long of at one another, the firing at times almost rising to Frequently artillery was the dignity of a battle. brought into action to prevent the pickets of one side from driving their adversaries back upon the main body. The opposing armies lay like two sullen monsters slowly gathering strength for an impending death struggle. At this time the weather was delightful, for the line of battle ran through a forest apparently boundin our vicinity at least had less. The troops fully stripped for action, being without tents, wagons, or baggage, well supplied with ammunition, and ready to fight at a minute's notice. Our sleeping apartments consisted mainly of rustic bowers formed of the boughs and branches of trees. Not unfrequently the recumbent warrior was roused from gentle dreams of lady love or home by cold contact with an intruding snake or lizard. Though snakes abounded in the South and often shared a soldier's bed, I never heard of anyone being bitten. A general impression prevailed that snakes would not bite a creek.

our

;





sleeping man.

The twenty-sixth of May found us

in the reserve.

THE PALIMPSEST

10

the

army having made another lunge forward (and

covered

gade a around

its

front with earthworks), leaving our bri-

Everything being placid had excuse for his favorite He trotted us out to the drill ground and

trifle to

the rear.

us, the colonel

pastime.

gave us three hours of company drill in the forenoon and four hours of battalion drill in the afternoon, which we thought sufficient in view of the balmy weather.

On May

28th our regiment had its first formal military burial. We had buried plenty of men, but

A

comrade having died, the not in regulation style. colonel improved the opportunity to show us how

The the government desired to have us buried. body was laid out in uniform on a stretcher, and borne through camp to the melancholy rolling of muflHed drums. An escort marched with arms reversed. The bottom of the grave having first been strewn with green boughs and green leaves, the body was rolled in a blanket and respectfully lowered to place. Over it other leaves and boughs were strewn. In a gentle manner earth was spilled in till the corpse was covered, then the grave was filled up. The firing squad discharged three volleys over the grave, and the detail marched back to quarters to the sound of lively music.

At daylight on the morning of May 30th our regiment passed the outer intrenchments of the army. Leaving

five companies on reserve, the rest of us deployed in the woods and relieved part of the troops

i

THE SIEGE OF CORINTH

11

on the skirmish line. Soon after sunrise extraordinary explosions, apparently within the enemy's lines, excited universal attention. The roar was not like cannonading precisely, nor very much like thunder. We had never heard the like of it before. An officer said it was the firing of mortars by some We were in thick woods. No of Pope's troops. Confederates had yet been seen. Indeed, we had received no instructions to hunt for them, though we thought they could be readily found if wanted. These heavy explosions, however, suggested the posthat the sibility that Corinth was being evacuated enemy was blowing up his powder magazines.



After a brief consultation, the commanding officer of that part of the picket line ordered Lieutenant Thomas Purcell, of our company, and our fourth corporal to go forward and ascertain if any Confederate sharpshooters were in front of us. I had permission to go also. Cocking our muskets and holding them in readiness to

fire,

the corporal and I

advanced Avith the lieutenant. We stealthily threaded our way through an intervening wood and reached the edge of a clearing. After looking about carefully in every direction, and seeing no signs of the enemy,

we decided

to cross the clearing.

On

the other side

grove where we feared we might be captured or killed, but on entering it we found no one there. It occupied the crest of a slight eminence. The quietness around rendered us bolder, and we passed on through the grove.

of

it

was a

little

THE PALIMPSEST

12

At

the opposite border,

Beauregard's breastworks, stretching

away

we came forts,

in full view of and intrencbments,

for miles on either side.

They

ap-

peared utterly deserted. Not a flag or soldier was visible anywhere. In front of us was an abatis of fallen trees, beyond which ran a line of rifle trenches for sharpshooters, but we could see nobody over there. The corporal was sent back to report what he knew, and to say that Corinth was evacuated without a doubt.

The the

lieutenant and I then

rifle pits,

made

a bold march for

and finding them unoccupied, became

perfectly satisfied that the Confederate

army was

There might be stragglers or a rear guard of skirmishers on the high hill, but in some excitement we continued on till we reached the main breastwork of Beauregard's line. It was of earth, twelve feet high at that point, and had embrasures, at intervals, for heavy artillery. Mounting the work, we took off our hats and gave three cheers for the Union army. As far as the eye could see were the formidable works of the foe, but in them we saw no defenders. We had not been there many minutes before the space between our picket line and the rebel fortifications was dotted with scouts and skirmishers who had heard the tidings and ran across to see for themselves. Cheer after cheer went up from little groups, then the skirmish line caught the contagion, and thence it spread to the line of battle, which made the woods ring with triumphal cheers. Bands followed gone.

THE SIEGE OF CORINTH

13

quickly with victorious music here and there a regiment moved across to plant its flag on the walls of the famous stronghold; and thousands of troops were soon in eager but vain pursuit of the foe. Clint Paekhurst ;

The Iowa Thespians Amusements during

the thirties in the outpost

settlement of Dubuque, or in any of the border

towns, were none too plentiful.

Circus

Company

of

True, the Lafayette

New York had performed

for

several nights to large audiences in Dubuque, a menagerie of wild animals had been exhibited at settlements along the Mississippi River, and a few strolling mimics, singers, and gymnasts had displayed their skill in the dining rooms of the taverns at Davenport, Bloomington (Muscatine), and Burlington, but for the most part the tragic muse was

unwooed

Iowa country. Partly to relieve the monotony of the long winter evenings and partly to satisfy natural dramatic inclinations, a' group of young men in Dubuque organized the Iowa Thespian Association early in 1838. The lure of the footlights and the desire to tread the boards in sock and buskin have always possessed fascination. The formation of this band of players probably the first amateur dramatic company on Iowa soil was prompted by the same charm of the stage that to-day attracts members into the Drama League and invigorates the Little Theatre move-



in the



ment.

The Thespian Association was fortunate in selecting a place for their theater that was already well 14

THE IOWA THESPIANS

15

The and favorably known in the community. Shakespeare Coffee House and Free Admission News Room, maintained by Charles Corkery in a two-story building near the corner of Main and Second streets, had been opened a short time before. The loiva News for November 15, 1837, carried his opening announcement which called the attention of the public to the attractions of the place. Patrons were to enjoy free use of legislative and congressional proceedings and newspapers from all parts of the Union, Canada, and Texas, as well as ready access to a superior and well selected assortment of wines, liquors, and cordials at the bar ''cash up". The large upstairs room of this popular building was selected by the Thespians as the scene of their theatricals and was given the appropriate name of Shakespeare Hall. The young men proceeded to rearrange the room in a comfortable style well adapted to their needs. A stage was built across one corner at an elevation of three or four feet above the floor. The body of the hall was filled with rows of seats, and the Thespian artist spread lurid colors on the scenery and the front drop.

When

the sun had disappeared behind the high

bluffs to the

West and darkness had

fallen

upon the

frozen Mississippi the amateur actors met in Shakespeare Hall to rehearse their plays and songs. The crackling oak logs in the huge fireplace and the semicircle

of sputtering candle

footlights

created an

THE PALIMPSEST

16

atmosphere that incited them to noble efforts. Nor did they hesitate to attempt the heaviest roles in the such as the thrilling hisleading- plays of the day torical drama, "England's Iron Days", and the notable success, "Pizarro", by August F. F. von Kotzebue, which had been the most popular play in England for a decade or more. An item in the Iowa News for February 3, 1838, reported that some of the parts in the early productions of the Association "were admirably played, and all the plays were well received and applauded. Several national and sentimental songs were sung, in a beautiful strain, by a young gentleman possessed of musical powers which if cultivated, bid fair to rival the best vocalists of the day." Shakespeare Hall was recommended to the lovers of mirth as a place well calculated to drive dull care away during



a long winter evening.

The most pretentious

Iowa Thesexistence was

offering of the

pians during the first season of their a patriotic thriller in five acts, entitled of Columbia her

"The Glory Yeomanry" by William Dunlap, the

father of the American drama.

It

had been written

for a Fourth of July production by its manager-

author and had been played at the Park Theatre in for the first time in 1803. Under the capable leadership and direction of Thomas C. Fassett, A. J. Anderson, and George L. Nightingale

New York

the large cast

became

letter perfect in their lines

proficient in the stage business of the play.

and

At the

THE IOWA THESPIANS

17

same time other members of the Thespians practiced a number of songs for the afterpiece, without which

no theatrical performance was complete in those days.

The following advertisement, one column wide and two inches long, appeared in the Iowa News on February 24, 1838, announcing the event of the season to the people of Dubuque.

THEATRICAL THE IOWA THESPIAN ASSOCIATION WILL PERFORM

On Monday

DuBuque

at

much admired play

of

night, the 26th inst., in

the Shakspeare House, the

THE GLORY OF COLUMBIA (By William Dunlap, Esq.)

And

conclude with a variety of Songs, Duets, Trios.

N. B.

Children under 10 years of age not admitted.

1^^ Tickets

to be

had

at the

bar of the Shakspeare.

The performance attracted an appreciative audifilled the hall to overflowing, and many were denied admission for lack of room. Great was ence that

the satisfaction and loud the applause of the early patrons of the drama as the curtain fell upon the

successive acts of the patriotic play.

No doubt

the

enthusiastic and noisy appreciation mounted also with each visit between, acts to the hospitable bar

THE PALIMPSEST

18

In fact, the play proved so popular that the Iowa Thespians were obliged to repeat it on the next below.

Saturday night, March

3,

1838.

At

this

performance

they inserted as an added attraction for the afterpiece the laughable farce, ''Gretna Green". All in all, the first season of the Iowa Thespian Association proved more successful than the san-

guine hopes of plans were

its

made

founders had anticipated and

for a longer and

more elaborate

dramatic season the following winter. The second year of the organization was made noteworthy by the visit of the McKenzie-Jefferson company, the first troupe of professional actors with a metropolitan reputation to visit the newly created Territory of Iowa. The group included Alexander

McKenzie and his wife, Joseph Jefferson, his wife, daughter, and son, Joseph (Rip), then a boy of ten, Germon, Leicester, Burke, "Warren, Sankey, Wright, Stafford, and Mesdames Germon and Ingersoll. They had come on a barnstorming trip by the lake route to open a new theater in the town of Chicago, then a place of some two thousand people. It was the first lap of a roving trip through the West and South. The Jeffersons and their troupe ''passed Indians, and glided by small villages, destined some day to become great cities. On the way to Dubuque "the company's scenery dropped into the Mississippi River, while forest and castle ran away in '

'

streaks of color across the canvas. Jefferson III nothing daunted, went courageously to work, re-

'

I'HE

IOWA THESPIANS

19

painting the smeared landscapes." On another occasion *' these travellers got into trouble, where a

lawyer had to be called

and awkward looking

in.

man

They employed a gaunt



none other than Abrathem in their difficulties." For a time the father of Rip turned sign-painter for the nonce." Again the Jefferson family went "down-stream on a raft, with scenery serving as sails, whole fields and balustrades flung to the breeze." Sometimes barns ''were fitted up as theatres; candles spilled wax around, and shed a dim, flickering light on a squalid room. Not frills and fancies, but rough, healthy democracy greeted them

ham

— to

Lincoln '

aid

'

'

'

'

every where. That part of the trip which took the company overland from -Chicago to Galena, thence up the frozen Mississippi to Dubuque, is best described by Joseph Jefferson in his delightful autobiography. ''After a short season in Chicago, with the varying success which in those days always attended the

drama, the company went to Galena for a short season, traveling in open wagons over the prairie. Our seats were the trunks that contained the ward-robe those old-fashioned hair trunks of a mottled and



spotted character circus horses: 'To

made from

the skins of defunct

what base uses we may return!'

These smooth hair trunks, with geometrical problems in brass tacks ornamenting their surface, would have made slippery seats even on a macadamized road, so one

may

imagine the

difficulty

we had

in

THE PALIMPSEST

20

holding on while jolting over a rough prairie. Nothing short of a severe pressure on the brass tacks and a convulsive grip of the handles could have kept us in position

;

and whenever a treacherous handle gave

company was for the time being just one member short. As we were not an express mailtrain, of course we were allowed more than twenty minutes for refreshments. The only diffculty was w^ay our

We

stopped at farm-houses on the way for this uncertain necessity, and they were far apart. If the roads were heavy and the horses jaded, those actors who had tender hearts and tough limbs jumped out and walked to ease the poor brutes. Often I have seen my father trudging along ahead of the wagon, smoking his pipe, and I have no doubt thinking of the large fortune he was going to make in the next town, now and then looking back with his light blue eyes, giving my mother a cheerful nod which plainly said: 'I'm all right. This is splendid nothing could be finer. If it rained he was glad it was not snowing if it snowed he was thankful it was not raining. This contented nature was his only inheritance; but it was better than a fortune made in Galena or anywhere else, for nothing could rob him of it. '*We travelled from Galena to Dubuque on the frozen river in sleighs smoother work than the roughly rutted roads of the prairie; but it was a perilous journey, for a warm spell had set in and made the ice sloppy and unsafe. We would somethe refreshments.

;

'

;



THE IOWA THESPIANS times hear feet

:

it

crack and see

it

21

bend under our horses'

now a long-drawn breath

of relief as

we passed

some dangerous spot, then a convulsive grasping of our nearest companion as the ice groaned and shook beneath us. Well, the passengers arrived safe, but, horror to relate the sleigh containing the baggage, private and public, with the scenery and properties, green curtain and drop, broke through the ice and tumbled into the Mississippi. My poor mother was in tears, but my father was in high spirits at his because there was a good luck, as he called it !



sand-bar where the sleigh went in! So the things were saved at last, though in a forlorn condition.

The opening had to be delayed in order to dry the wardrobe and smooth the scenery. "The halls of the hotel were strung with clotheslines, and the costumes of all nations festooned the doors of the bedrooms, so that when an unsuspicious boarder came out suddenly into the entry he was likely to run his head into a damp 'Roman' shirt, or perhaps have the legs of a soaking pair of red tights dangling around his neck. Mildew filled the air. The gilded pasteboard helmets fared the worst. They had succumbed to the softening influences of the Mississippi, and were as battered and out of shape as if they had gone through the pass of Thermopylae. Limp leggins of scale armor hung wet and dejected from the lines low-spirited cocked hats were piled up in a corner; rough-dried court coats stretched their arms out as if in the agony of drown;

TflE

22

ing, as thougli they

I sink.

'

PALIMPSEST

would

say,

Theatrical scenery at

'

Help me, Cassius, or best looks pale and

its

shabby in the daytime, but a well-worn set after a six-hours' bath in a river presents the most woebegone appearance that can well be imagined; the sky and water of the marine had so mingled with each other that the horizon line had quite disappeared. My father had painted the scenery, and he was not a little crestfallen as he looked upon the ruins a wood scene had amalgamated with a Roman street painted on the back of it, and had so run into stains and winding streaks that he said it looked like a large map of South America and, pointing out the Andes with his cane, he humorously traced the Amazon to its source. Of course this mishap on the river delayed the opening for a week. In the mean time the scenery had to be repainted and the wardrobe put in order: many of the things were ruined, and :

;

the helmets defied repair."

When the damage resulting from the river mishap had been repaired as far as was possible the company began an eleven day run at Shakespeare Hall. They presented

the popular plays of the season



"Honeymoon", "How to Rule a Wife", and "The Waterman"; and the classics, Othello ", " Charles II ", " Rob Roy ", " McGregor and "Richard III". Germon's singing of the "Lass o' Gowrie" and Burke's dancing the "Sailor's Hornpipe" were favorite parts of the afterpiece the

'

comedies,

'

'

',

performances while the acting of juvenile parts by

THE IOWA THESPIANS young Joseph Jefferson and

his sister

tion to the frontier audience.

23

was a

revela-

Leicester as a trage-

as a villain became favorites of the theatergoers, while Joseph Jefferson, Sr., the comedian, could always bring roars of laughter. Crowd-

dian and

Germon

ed halls greeted the actors when the curtain rose every evening at 6:30 o'clock, and for three hours and a half the townspeople and visitors at the taverns reveled in tragedy and comedy. Even the property man who replaced the burned down candle foot-

between the big show and the afterpiece reAdults paid one dollar to see a performance, children fifty cents. The engagement at Dubuque was one of the most successful experienced by the company on its western tour, both from the financial aspect and from the standpoint of appreciation. Well pleased with their first visit to Iowa, the troupe left the lead-mine town

lights

ceived his share of applause.

down the Mississippi. The Iowa Thespian Association and Shakespeare Hall had paved the way for the professionals. Without the general interest in the drama which had been fostered and developed, the famous Joseph Jefferson might have been received no more enthusiastically in Dubuque than he had been in Chicago. Although the first two seasons of the Iowa Thespians had indicated that an amateur stock company in the rapidly growing town of Dubuque filled a community demand, interest waned in a few years and to visit other places

the organization disbanded.

No

longer could a guest

24

THE PALIMPSEST

Timothy Fanning 's Jefferson House or the visitor at Richard Plumbe's Washington Hotel procure a ticket to the Shakespeare Coffee House to see Nightingale and his mummers tear a passion to tatters or portray comedy with the broad strokes then so at

Shakespeare Hall ceased to be classed with the places of intellectual amusement, but the tap room below continued to dispense cheer to its patrons until the old frame building gave way to the

popular.

business enterprise of a

new

era.

Bruce E. Mahan

Pleasant Hill Dramatics Back

in the amiable eighties,

when

life

was more and

placid and less hurried than now, the fathers

mothers of the boys and girls who live in the country to-day found their winter amusements nearer home than the moving picture show or public dance in town.

Now the rural mail carrier or the telephone will supply the latest news of commercial entertainment on the spur of the moment, while the automobile makes access

to the city all too easy.

Then

the peo-

who lived in the country were dependent upon their own resources for social pleasure, and the ple

whole community participated in the wholesome fun. Just after the Civil War a group of farmers settled on the rolling prairies a few miles west of Bedford. There, during the sixties and early seventies, The men exchanged they reared their families. work at harvest and threshing time, the women came together in a social

way

at quiltings,

and the children

attended the Pleasant Hill district school. As the young people grew up they attended parties and indulged in the favorite games of Miller Boy and During the winter of 1881-1882 Skip-to-My-Lou. they attended a singing school together. Early in the winter of 1886 some of the boys and girls of the Pleasant Hill district, who had been the 25

THE PALIMPSEST

26

best talent at the sclioolliouse "Literary" and

who

had sat enthralled when they attended an occasional performance by some travelling troupe in the Bedford opera house, thought that they would stage They were confident of success. some plays. Couldn't they recite the poems and dialogues in McGuffey's Sixth Reader as well as the actor folk they had seen in town? Couldn't they build a stage in the front part of the schoolhouse?

The idea

and a meeting was December at the home of Frances

fired the imagination

held one night in

The would-be actors assembled in the parlor, a square room equipped with severely plain furniture and a rag carpet. On the oval-topped walnut center table a large oil lamp

Titus to perfect the plans.

threw

its

rays into the eager faces of these devotees

of the drama.

There was handsome Frank Crossen who had a fondness for the role of a villain. James Dougherty and Huston Cox leaned toward character parts, and Sen Campbell was willing to try any role. Jolly Roe Rubart delighted in comedy, while Ellis Titus preferred to attempt juvenile characters.

was pretty May

Then there

Hiatt, the teacher at Pleasant Hill,

stately Ida Rubart,

and vivacious Vira Titus for the

feminine parts of the contemplated productions. Each agreed to accept a part, to learn the lines, and to assist in the details of production. Enthusiasm waxed jubilant as they discussed the merits of the farce,

' '

,

11

Turn Him Out

'

',

which one of the group

PLEASANT HILL DRAMATICS

27

to the meeting. Pans of pop corn and bowls of cracked hickory nuts were consumed as the young folks talked of the time and place of holding rehearsals, and the oak chunks in the cast-iron stove had burned to glowing coals before the visitors

had brought

donned overshoes, heavy part for

home

coats,

and mufflers

to de-

in their bobsleds.

Eehearsals were held at the homes of the players until about a week before the time set for the public performance. Then evening meetings took place at the schoolhouse, still warm from the big fire left in the stove by the teacher when she departed after school closed for the afternoon.

A few days before the date

show the boys of from town for the

of the

the club hauled a load of planks

which they erected across the front end of the A wire stretched from one side-wall to the other held the dark cambric curtain which had been made by the girls and fastened to small rings so that the two halves could be pulled aside. The handy mechanic of the group built side panels for the stage out of pine strips and covered these with white paper on which he drew windows and baseboards with charcoal. Openings were left for entrances on both sides, the front wall of the schoolroom served as the back w^all of the stage, and mth this arrangement the actors had a playing space about twelve feet w^ide, six feet deep, and two feet above the floor. The hall, which extended entirely across the front of the building, was transformed into dressing stage,

schoolroom.

THE PALIMPSEST

28

rooms. There the actors concealed themselves while the patrons paid their ten cents admission and climbed over the stage to reach the double seats then in vogue in country schools. No performance could begin until the audience had assembled, for the improvised theater boasted no entrance except

There was always a scramfor the long recitation bench which constituted

the one over the stage. ble

the first

row of

seats.

on the kerosene lamps in swinging brackets along the walls were turned so

The mirror

that the light lights

reflectors

was directed upon the

were used.

stage.

No

foot-

Furniture, rugs, and curtains for

the set were brought

from home by the actors them-

selves.

What

matter if occasionally someone forgot the prompter was an exciting climax ready with the missing cue. And who cared if the villain's mustache and black beard, loosened by perspiration, threatened to drop off before the end of the act? The audience appreciated such a mishap as much or more than a flawless performance. If the pistol failed to go off the first time the trigger was pulled and the intended victim shouted, ''I'm shot!" before the shot was fired, the crowd howled with delight. To the credit of the Pleasant Hill Dramatic Club be it said, however, that such miscues were the exception. The careful rehearsals of the enthusiastic young actors produced better plays than the average of amateur performances. Olddid

his lines in

it



PLEASANT HILL DRAMATICS

29

remember the four-act drama, ''Better Than Gold and the three-act comedy, The Flower timers

still

'

'

'

',

of the Family", while the participants themselves revel in the memory of the fun of rehearsals and the

performance. During two winters the club produced one-act Their object was not sketches and longer plays. mercenary they engaged in the enterprise solely for their own amusement and the entertainment of the community. With the proceeds they paid for the curtain, rented the planks for the stage, had their picture taken by the town photographer, enjoyed an occasional oyster party, and divided the balance thrills of the final

:

among

the members. was not long, however, before some of the members married and moved to distant farms. Others It

left

the homesteads to engage in business in town,

or, like their

the West.

parents two decades before, set out for

The Dramatic Club was disbanded, but

the events of the winters of 1886

and 1887

at Pleas-

ant Hill remain as cherished memories.

Bkuce E. Mahan

Comment by

the Editor

THE AET OF HISTORY

The

historian, in

some

much of an His materials are

respects, is as

artist as the poet or sculptor.

essentially the same, for he too depicts the spirit of

man and

carves from the solid mass of

human

events an image of the times.

History is a ''Tower of Experience, which Time has built amidst the endless fields of bygone ages." It is a various structure, composed of infinite details. The archeozoic rocks form its foundation, while the story of life is the superstructure. It contains the

and sorrows, hopes and fears, thoughts and deeds of all mankind. Nor is the trivial conduct of jo3^s

the least of these to be ignored, for the career of

each

is

the experience of the race.

It is for the historian to vitalize the past. Let him people again the land and sea, the cities and farms and highways with the men and women of yesterday.

Let him tell of their goings and comings, of their manners, amusements, apparel, and customs no less than their vices and glorious exploits. The pageant should be viewed in perspective. Let the apparent confusion and discord be symphonized into the harmonious trend of events.

The dictionary declares that history romance. 30

If that is

is

devoid of

true then history portrays

COMMENT BY THE EDITOR falsely tlie course of

human

affairs, for

31

comedy and

tragedy, adventure, love, and character building are the substance of every-day life. The story of each frontier village

any rural

and latter-day

city,

countrj^side, the lives of

both great and humble

— the

the affairs of

men and women

history of Iowa



abounds in romance. Here is the stuff of which ficmade, and the historian may revel in the knowledge that fact is as thrilling as fancy. tion is

If the past is to live the writer of history must take note of the romance that governs the facts. He must perceive and appraise with the skill of an artist,

for he writes the

drama of truth. He may must not distort them.

catch the high lights, but he It is a difficult task.

It involves clear thought, steady

purpose, broad comprehension, quick imagination, and the capacity to impart the vision to others. J. E. B.

iC0SI'lNTS >^~

&

A

»-,-'

1^ Xj^onfe^erale

Spy

.^

53

*63 ^JTheKditpr

Published Monthly At lowACmr By

IHE SrATEHBfoM SOXIEIYofIOWA' ^^^^^i^^^rs^z;^^^^^^'^'^ ENTERED AS SECOND CLASS MATTER JULY 2S 1920 AT THE POST OFFICE AT IOWA CITY IOWA UNDER THE ACT OF AUeUST 24 1912

THE PURPOSE OF THIS MAGAZINE The Palimpsest,

issued monthly by the State His-

devoted to the disseminaSupplementing the other publications of this Society, it aims to present the materials of Iowa History in a form that is attractive and a style to the end that the that is popular in the best sense story of our Commonwealth may be more widely read and cherished. torical Society of Iowa, is

tion of

Iowa History.



BENJ. F.

Shambaugh Superintendent

THE MEANING OF PALIMPSESTS materials from

were parchments or other which one or more writings had been

erased to give

room

In early times palimpsests

ures

for later records.

were not always complete; and so

But the erasit

became the

fascinating task of scholars not only to translate the later records

but also to reconstruct the original writ-

by deciphering the dim fragments of letters partly erased and partly covered by subsequent texts. The history of Iowa may be likened to a palimpsest which holds the records of successive generations. To ings

decipher these records of the past, reconstruct them, tell the stories which they contain is the task of those who write history.

and

PRICE

— 10c

per copy: $1 per year: free to

ADDRESS — The

members

of Society

State Historical Society Iowa City Iowa

The Palimpsest EDITED BY JOHN ELY BRIGGS Issued

Vol. IV

in

February 1923

No. 2

COPVRIOHT 1S23 BY THE STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF IOWA

A Confederate Spy A

glamour of romance and mystery still clings to the old Chew mansion in Cascade. The very appearance of the house with its massive walls of solid stone, high gable roofs, and huge chimneys has always inspired interest and wonder. Built in Civil War days by Thomas J. Chew, a pioneer of southern nativity, the edifice was constructed on the generous design of a plantation home.

Enormous

blocks of limestone for the thick walls

were quarried from the bluffs along the North Fork

Maquoketa River, while the studding, rafters, and heavy joists were of native oak cut to proper

of the

Chew sawmill. The spacious livroom was finished with highly polished cherry, oak was used for the woodwork in the large library, the dining room, and the hallways, some of the chambers were finished in cherry and some in oak, dimensions in the ing

while unvarnished walnut and cherry were used in 83

THE PALIMPSEST

34

rooms on tlie third floor. In every room of the house there was a great stone fireplace. the

Too spacious

for a dwelling, the

mansion proved

an expensive and unsatisfactory possession Chews moved away, suggestion was made that and more than once the the great house should be converted into a hospital. At last the property was obtained by the school board and now the stately old residence is the hom.o of the East Cascade High School. But not even transformation into a schoolhouse has been sufficient to dispel entirely the atmosphere of former glory. The children notice the evidences of the magnificence of sixty years ago, and they are reminded of days that are gone and of the stirring times that the old house has witnessed. In one of the rooms, where the boys and girls of to-day follow the campaigns of Caesar in Gaul or of Sherman in Georgia and Lee in Virginia, John Yates Beall, master in the Confederate navy and picturesque marauder, once found refuge and care while he was to be

for its various owners after the

recovering from a wound received in piercing the lines on his dangerous trip to Canada.

Union

This

is

the story of the Cascade spy.

Weary and wounded, John Y. Beall, Chew home for

of 1864, crept to the

in the spring

refuge.

His

brother had come to Cascade some time before to engage in the milling business with Thomas Chew,

whose wife's people, the Bemis family of Maryland, and the Bealls of Virginia had been friends in the

'

A CONFEDERATE SPY

35

For these reasons the sick and travel-worn Confederate hoped to receive aid and concealment at

South. the

Chew homestead

until he recovered sufficiently

to continue his journey.

He

arrived just at dusk about the

first

of

June

dark comer at the rear of the house. Mrs. Chew came outside for a bucket of water and he called to her, saying, "It's John Beall, I'm wounded and I've come to you for protection." She replied that she would be glad to aid him but that she must first obtain the consent of Mr. Chew. She took him inside, gave him his supper, and led him upstairs to a bedroom. Then she laid the case before her husband and asked what she should do. ''Maggie", he said, ''attend to his wound as a man, but I do not want to know anything about him as a

and stopped

rebel.

in a

'

Mrs. Chew dressed his bullet wound herself, and removed some small pieces of bone. During the long hot summer of 1864 she nursed the Confederate refugee back to health and strength, and his presence at the Chew home was known only to a few intimate friends of the family. Beall was a quiet guest who spent much of the time in reading the Bible which Stonewall Jackson had given him. Every night he went over part of the Episcopalian service, while at other times he browsed through the books belonging to his host. His early schooling in Virginia and his studies in England had made him a gentleman of culture and

THE PALIMPSEST

36

refinement well

— the

known

chivalrous type of southerner so

in fiction.

He

never revealed to his ben-

and after were surprised and shocked at

efactors the real reason for his trip north, his departure they

the swift-moving events of his subsequent career.

Before coming* to Cascade the spectacular exploits of

John Y. Beall had made him a marked man. With

a small band of kindred adventurers he had led an

upon Union gunboats on the Eappahannock River and effected their capture. He had directed the destruction of light houses along the Virginia shore, and his command had succeeded in capturing attack

Union transports

On

off the Atlantic coast.

the eighteenth of September, 1863, Beall, with

a small party of picked men, had crossed the bay from Matthew's Point, Virginia, and on the follow-

ing day he captured the United States schooner. Alliance, loaded with sutler's goods.

Two days

his small force seized the schooners, J. J.

later

Houseman,

Samuel Pearsall, and Alexandria, captured the crews, and, lashing the helms and setting the sails, turned the vessels adrift. Five days afterward a Union blockader sighted the Alliance, with the Confederates on board, stuck on a sand bar at Mifford

Haven. fire to

The Yankees opened

fire,

but the rebels set

the vessel and escaped.

For almost

a

month Beall and

his

men

their activities along the Virginia coast,

continued

swooping and hovering at times dangerously near the Union pickets and coast guards

down

here, striking there,

A CONFEDERATE SPY who were

alert for their capture.

37

Finally, however,

part of the command, in making a landing on the shore of Chesapeake Bay, were met by an equal

number of coast guards, and after a spirited engagement the Confederates surrendered. The next day the reckless leader himself and nine more of his men were captured by a determined force from one of the Union coasting vessels. Both groups of prisoners were taken to Fort McHenry, where they were put in chains and regarded as pirates rather than as prisoners of war.

This treatment brought forth a vigorous protest

from Robert Ould, Confederate agent of exchange, who informed the Union agent that the Confederate government had placed an equal number of officers and seamen of the United States navy in close confinement in irons as a retaliatory measure and that they were held as hostages for the proper treatment of Beall and his men. This protest succeeded ultimately in accomplishing its purpose, for in January, 1864, the Confederate prisoners were removed from Fort McHenry to Fort Norfolk, their irons struck off, and their status made that of prisoners of war.

Then Beall escaped. In May, 1864, he wrote

to the Secretary of

the Confederacy offering to raise a small of trustworthy

men

War

of

company

for special service along the

northern boundary of the United States. President Jefferson Davis had already sent Jacob Thompson, who had been Secretary of the Interior under Presi-

38

THE PALIMPSEST

dent James Buchanan, to Canada to direct a campaign of terrorization whereby the morale of the Union might be broken. This work called for cour-

age and intelligence, the type of service for which Beall was admirably fitted and to which his love of adventure allured him. His offer was accepted and he and his men in civilian garb set out for Canada as individuals and by separate routes. Ill fortune, however, marked this adventure from the start. In making his way through the Union lines Beall received the bullet wound which forced him to seek refuge with friends at Cascade and delayed his arrival at Windsor, Canada, for over three months. This inauspicious beginning of his new effort in behalf of the lost cause was a portent of ill omen, but with characteristic bravery he pushed on as soon as he had recovered from his injury and regained his strength. In the meantime, the audacious plot in which Beall

was destined to play a leading role had assumed definite form and the preliminary work had been accomplished. Jacob Thompson, from his headquarters at Windsor, sent Captain Charles H. Cole, formerly of N. B. Forrest's command, around the lakes as a lower deck passenger with instructions to

become familiar with the channels, the approaches to the harbors, the strength of each prison camp, and especially to obtain all possible information about the war steamer Michicjan on Lake Erie. Cole was

given about four thousand dollars in gold which he

A CONFEDERATE SPY

39

spend in establishing friendly relations with the officers and crew of the gunboat. AVhen he succeeded with this part of the plot, Thompson planned to send Beall and his men across the lake on a passenger steamer which they would seize en route, and with it they were to capture the gunboat in the harbor of Sandusky. With the Michigan in their possession the Confederates hoped to overpower the guards at Johnson's Island near Sandusky^ and liberate nearly three thousand southern officers confined there who, mounted, armed, and giiarded by the boat, would march along the lake to Cleveland. From Cleveland the Confederate officers proposed to turn south to Wheeling, thence to Virginia, and Such a bold coup, it was rejoin their commands. thought, would strike terror into the hearts of the Yankees, and at the same time revive the hopes of

was

to

the South.

Cole reported progress to his part of the job

cers

Thompson he :

felt that

was succeeding and that the

who could not be bribed could be rendered

offi-

help-

less by being drugged at a wine party on board the gunboat on the night of the capture. Accordingly, the night of September 19, 1864, was selected for the attempt. Prearranged signals were to let Beall knoAV when Cole's part of the plot had been accom-

plished.

Some

details of the plot leaked out, how^ever.

On

Saturday night, the seventeenth of September, a stranger called upon Lieutenant Colonel B. H. Hill,

THE PALIMPSEST

40

acting assistant provost marshal of Michigan, at his hotel in Detroit and introduced himself as a former

Confederate soldier then a refugee in Canada. told Hill that

some of the

officers

He

and men of the

steamboat, Michigan, on Lake Erie had been tampered with by one of Thompson's agents and that it

was Thompson's intention to send a party from Windsor to capture the gunboat. The informant said that he had been asked to join the party and had consented to do so in order to learn the details of the plot. He added that he would return on the following night with more information. Hill did not

rumors of projected commit depredations on the lake coasts of the United States by Confederate refugees in Canada had been current for more than a year, yet the man's earnestness led Hill to telegraph fully credit the story because

enterprises

to

Captain J. C. Carter, the commanding Michigan, to be on his guard.

True

to his

word

officer

of the

the stranger returned on the

following evening and told Hill that a man by the name of Cole was the Confederate agent at San-

dusky who had attempted to bribe the officers of the gunboat and that he planned to drug those who

He said, furthermore, that the attacking party planned to take passage on board the Philo Parsons, a passenger packet which made regular trips between Detroit and Sandusky, to take

could not be bought.

possession of the vessel out on the lake, and then to capture the Michigan. This more detailed informa-

A CONFEDERATE SPY

41

tion of the plot was telegraphed immediately to Captain Carter who had Cole seized and imprisoned at once and the boat cleared for action to bag the marauding party. Provost Marshal Hill thought it advisable to let the enterprise proceed so that the entire party might be captured in the harbor of Sandusky rather than to arouse the suspicions of the plotters by placing soldiers on board the Philo Parsons to prevent the start of the expedition. To do this, he thought, would simply postpone the attempt to another time when he might not be forewarned. Beall and his men, never dreaming that the details of the plot were already in the hands of their enemies, proceeded with their part of the scheme. About eight o'clock on Sunday night, September 18th, a fashionably dressed young man came on board the Philo Parsons which was lying at the docks at Detroit. He asked the clerk if the boat would stop in the morning at Sandwich, three miles below on the Canadian shore, to pick up a party of his friends who wanted to go to Kelley 's Island on a

The clerk replied that the boat did Sandwich regularly but would do so for

pleasure trip. not stop at

This satisfied the caller who then departed. This man was Bennett G. Burley, an acting master in the Confederate navy and Beall 's aspassengers.

sistant.

The next morning the Philo Parsons steamed away from the dock at Detroit with some forty pas-

THE TALIMPSEST

42

sengers

on board.

Shortly after the vessel got

under way the visitor of the night before came to the announced that his friends were waiting for the boat at Sandwich. The clerk reported this to Captain Sylvester F. Atwood, master of the boat, who called the stranger and asked why his friends had not come to Detroit to catch the steamer. Burley replied that one of them was lame and found clerk and

it

inconvenient to take the ferry.

Accordingly, the boat

made

the landing at Sand-

wich and four young fellows, one of whom limped, came on board. All of them were stylishly dressed in English clothes, and one carried a small hand satchel, the only baggage of the party. They were soon on intimate terms with the passengers and made themselves agreeable travelling companions. One of them, a young man of medium height, with brown hair, fair complexioned, and smooth shaven, was Beall himself. His evident culture and polished

manners made him a favorite. At Maiden, about twenty miles below Detroit on the Canadian side, the steamer made its regular stop. Here a party of about twenty men came on board. They were all poorly dressed in ragged clothes that had apparently seen hard service, and two of the roughest looking in the lot lugged a heavy, oldfashioned, rope-bound trunk. All of the group were young except one who said he was a surgeon, and they explained that they were bound for Kelley's Island on a fishing trip.

They paid

their fare in

A CONFEDERATE SPY

43

greenbacks and no sign of recognition passed between them and the four who came on board at SandTheir number was not unusual and consewich. quently excited no suspicion. The steamer continued on its way, making the usual stops at North Bass, Middle Bass, and South Bass islands to discharge and take on passengers and freight. These islands lie about twenty-eight miles almost directlj^ north of Sandusky. Captain Atwood left the boat at Middle Bass Island to spend the twenty-four hour interval before its return with

and the steamer proceeded under the DeWitt C. Nichols, mate and pilot. Nothing suspicious had been observed up to this point although afterwards it was remembered that ten or twelve of the Maiden crowd stayed on the upper deck and just after dinner the wheelman noticed two of them by the pilot house, two more by the wheelhouse, and two aft on the hurricane deck. One of the well dressed group asked the wheelman some questions about the course he was steering and borrowed his glass to look around. From Sonth Bass Island, the steamer proceeded to Kelley's Island, seven miles farther on, and made the regTilar landing there. When the boat drew up to the wharf four men came on board and one of them addressed a member of the Sandwich party, saying, ''We have concluded to go to Sandusky." None of those who had come on board at Sandwich and Maiden left the boat at Kelley's Island, his family,

command

of

THE PALIMPSEST

44

and one of them told the clerk that they had decided to go on to Sandusky with the four who had just come on board. The Philo Parsons left Kelley's Island about four o'clock in the afternoon and fifteen or twenty minutes later passed the Island Queen, another sidewheel steamer which made regular trips between

The boats passed about twenty rods and no signals

Sandusky and the Bass at a distance of

islands.

were exchanged. Shortly after the Philo Parsons passed the Island Queen Beall accosted Nichols, then in command of

you captain of this boat!" "No, sir;" Nichols answered, "I am mate." "You have charge of her at present, have you not?"

the boat, and asked, ''Are

"Yes, sir", replied the mate. "Will you step back here for a minute? I want to talk to you." The two men walked aft to a place near the smokestack on the hurricane deck where Beall stopped and said, "I am a Confederate officer. There are thirtj'^ of us, well armed. I seize the boat, and take you as a prisoner. You must pilot the boat as I direct you, and", pulling a revolver out of his pocket and showing it, "here are the tools to make you. Eun down and lie off the harbor." He meant the harbor of Sandusky then about twelve miles distant. In the meantime four of the party had come up to the clerk

who was standing

in front of his office and,

A CONFEDERATE SPY

45-

drawing revolvers, leveled them at him and threatened to kill him if he offered any resistance. He surrendered. In a flash the old black trunk which had been carried aboard at Maiden was opened and the marauders armed themselves with the revolvers and hand axes which it contained. They fired a few shots and drove the frightened passengers forward to the cabin where they searched them for arms. Leaving the women and children in the cabin, the boarding party drove the men and crew down to the main deck and thence to the hold. When the attack began the wheelman who was standing in the saloon heard a shot on deck, a yell, and then another shot. He hastened out on the main deck and saw a man with a cocked revolver in his hand chasing the fireman and shouting to the fugitive to go down the main hatch or he would shoot. The fireman escaped temporarily and the man turned to the wheelman repeating the same command. The latter told him to go to hell and started quickly to climb from the main deck to the upper deck. The pirate fired but missed, the ball passing between the legs of the fleeing wheelman. Within a short time, however, Beall and his men had complete possession of the boat, and although several shots had been fired no one was injured. The fireman, engineer, and wheelman were left at their posts under guard and commanded to obey the orders of the leader. Beall ordered the mate to head the boat east and to keep on this tack until a good

46

THE PALIMPSEST

view of the harbor of Sandusky was obtained. At about five o'clock a position was reached where the United States steamer, Michigan, was plainly ^dsAfter a careful examination of the harbor ible.

from the point outside the bar, and after ascertaining the position of the gunboat, Beall learned from the mate that the wood supply was low. Therefore, he ordered the wheelman to turn back to the wooding station at Middle Bass Island, and the boat drew up to the wharf between seven and eight in the evening, just at dusk.

The Confederates fired two or three shots at the owner of the wood yard, then released some of the deck hands to help wood up. The captain of the Philo Parsons who had spent the afternoon at home did not see his vessel return but was informed of its arrival by a little boy who came running up to the captain's house much frightened and shouting that they were killing his father. The captain hurried to the dock and seeing several men running to and fro, approached them and asked what was up. Thereupon three or four of the men levelled their pistols Upon his reat him and he was ordered aboard. fusal he was rushed up the plank and made a prisoner in the cabin of his own vessel. About this time the Island Queen whistled for the wharf and came steaming up to the dock alongside the Philo Parsons. It was now eight o'clock and moonlight. Immediately all the Confederates who could be spared rushed on board the new arrival

A CONFEDERATE SPY

47

and, yelling and firing their revolvers, they drove the passengers and crew aboard the Philo Parsons. Among the former were twenty-five Union soldiers one-hundred-day men from Ohio returning to



Toledo to be mustered out. They were unarmed and without a leader and so offered no resistance. The men were crowded into the hold, the women and children left in the cabin. The engineer of the Island Queen was busy with his engines after he brought his vessel alongside the wharf and the first he knew of the attack w^as when he heard some one yell. As he looked around one of the attacking party fired and the ball, whizzing past his nose, entered his cheek and passed out at his ear. Although Beall's men fired several shots no one was wounded except the engineer, though some of the passengers were knocked down with the butt end of revolvers and with hand axes. Before putting out on the lake again Beall paroled the passengers of both boats, the Union soldiers, the crew of the Island Qneen, the captain and part of the crew of the Philo Parsons, and secured their promise not to leave the island nor to speak of what had occurred for twenty-four hours. He kept on board the captain, clerk, and wounded engineer of the Island Queen, and the mate, wheelman, and part of the crew of the Philo Parsons. Most of the baggage of the passengers was piled on the dock and the cargo of pig iron, furniture, and tobacco was thrown overboard.

THE PALIMPSEST

48

Beall then headed the Philo Parsons out on the

Queen in tow. A few miles out from Middle Bass Island the captors opened the sea valves of the towed vessel and cast her adrift to lake with the Island

sink.

Fortunately, before

filling

she drifted onto a

sand bar and was removed a few days later without having suffered serious injury. The Confederates then shaped a course for Sandusky, hiding the red and blue signal lights of the boat so that its course could not be detected. When the steamer reached a point opposite Marblehead Light outside the Bay of Sandusky the pilot told Beall that it was dangerous to attempt to run the channel at night for it was so narrow there was danger of running aground. Moreover, the signals by which Cole was to announce the success of his part of the plot

had

failed to appear.

Beall called his

men

After a brief consultation the Confederabandon the attack on the gTinboat, Michigan. It was fortunate for them that they did, for both the commanding officer at Johnson 's Island and Captain Carter of the Michigan were ready and waiting for the attack. Beall ordered the pilot to turn about and head the boat for Maiden, Canada. They passed the Bass islands under a full head of steam about one o'clock in the morning, slipped by Maiden about four, and proceeded up the Canadian side of the Detroit River. A few miles above Maiden the captors sent ashore a yawl boat loaded with plunder. Beall stopped the Philo Parsons also at forward.

ates decided to

A CONFEDERATE SPY

49

Fighting Point to put the crew ashore, keeping on the engineer, wheelman, and one board only three other for the rest of the trip. The boat arrived at the dock at Sandwich, Canada, about eight o'clock Tuesday morning. One of the gang compelled the engineer to help smash the injection pipes of the vessel, while others carried ashore some cabin furniture and other plunder. Then, leaving the boat to sink, the Confederates, loaded down with bags of plunder, set off up the None of them were molested street of Sandwich. except two who were detained for a short time





charged with violating the customs regulations by unloading goods without a license. The magistrate dismissed their case, however, and the entire group scattered throughout the country, most of them returning to the Confederacy. The Philo Parsons was saved by some of the crew before she filled and in a few days both of the captured vessels were making their regular trips again.

This audacious attempt by Beall and his men to capture the Michigan and to release the prisoners at Johnson's Island aroused the authorities to keep a

The County Windsor assured the United States District Attorney of Michigan that he had received instructions from his government to spare

careful watch for this bold plotter.

Crown Attorney

at

no pains in bringing to justice those concerned with Burley, Beall 's lieutenant, was arrested a few davs afterward in Canada and later extradited

the plot.

THE PALIMPSEST

50

Cole, who was confined on to the United States. Johnson's Island and later at Fort Lafayette, was finally discharged on February 10, 1866. Thompson, He the arch conspirator, seems to have escaped. was afterward implicated in the assassination of President Lincoln. On December 16, 1864, nearly three months after the lake episode, John S. Young, chief of the Metropolitan Detective Police, found and arrested Beall near the New York end of the suspension bridge over the Niagara River. He was fully identified by a witness who picked him out of a crowd in one of the rooms at police headquarters in New York. The witness stepped up to Beall and called him by name

much

to the discomfiture of the Confederate captain. After being thus identified the prisoner Avas confined in a cell at police headquarters, but having attempted to bribe one of the turnkeys by offering him $3000 in gold for a chance to escape, he was removed to Fort

Lafayette.

The military commission appointed to try his case convened on board the steamer, Henry Burden, while she was conveying Beall to Fort Lafayette, but as he desired a week's delay to procure counsel and to prepare his defense, it was granted him. The court martial met at Fort Lafayette on the morning of

January

17, 1865,

and adjourned until two days later^ much more time to prepare

giving the prisoner that his case.

He

asked that a fellow prisoner, Roger A. Pryor, be allowed to defend him, and this request

A CONFEDERATE SPY

51

was forwarded by General John A. Dix to the Secretary of War. A reply was received two days later that under no circumstances could a prisoner of war be allowed to act as counsel for a person accused of being a spy. Hence another postponement of the trial

was necessary while Beall secured other coun-

sel.

Having engaged the professional services of James T. Brady, Beall's trial began February 10, 1865, with Brigadier General Fitz Henry Warren, formerly colonel of the First Iowa Volunteer Cavalry, as president. He was arraigned and tried under two charges first, violation of the law of war, and second, acting as a spy. Under these charges it was specified that he seized and captured the Philo Parsons and Island Queen without lawful authority and by force of arms; that he acted as a spy near Kelley's Island, at Middle Bass Island, and at the suspension bridge; and that as a gnierrilla he attempted to destroy lives and property by trying to wreck a train coming from the west to Buffalo. Beall attempted to justify his maneuvers on Lake Erie and his deeds in New York by showing that he was acting under the orders of Jefferson Davis and authorized agents of the Confederate government. After a careful hearing of the evidence, the court found Beall guilty of both charges and on all the specifications save one in which the date had been stated erroneously. He was sentenced to be hanged and General Dix approved the sentence, directing it :

:

THE PALIMPSEST

52

to be executed on Governor's Island, Saturday, Feb-

ruary

IStli.

Later a reprieve was granted until Fri-

day, the twenty-fourth.

In desperation Beall wrote the following letter to the Confederate agent of exchange

Fort Columbus, February 21, 1865. Col. R. Ould, Commissioner of Exchange, Richmond, Va.: Sir: The proceedings of a military commission in my case published in the New York papers of the 15th instant made you and my Government aware of my sentence and doom. A reprieve, on account of some informality, from the 18th to the 24th was granted. The authorities are posThey know that I acted sessed of the facts in my case. under orders. I appeal to my Government to use its utmost efforts to protect me, and if unable to prevent my murder, I can only declare that I was to vindicate my reputation. no "spy" or "guerrilla," and am a true Confederate. Respectfully,

John Y. Beall, Acting Master, C. 8. Navy. This letter, however, was not received until February twenty-seventh. Three days before, between

noon and two o 'clock in the afternoon, the commanding officer of Fort Columbus had carried out the sentence of the court and the spectacular career of John Y. Beall was ended.

Bruce E. Mahan

Ventures It

was thought,

in

Wheat

in the fail of 1845

and during the

following winter, that there was going to be a big foreign

demand

for breadstuffs, on account of a

great deficiency in the English crops.

Consequently

was much speculation in breadstuffs in this At that time the firm of Burrows & Prettyman had been operating a produce house in Davenport for more than a year. We were doing business there

country.

with the largest produce merchants in the United States, the Woodruff brothers, who maintained

branches in City.

You

St.

Louis,

New

Orleans, and

New York

could ship to any branch you preferred.

was a concern of unlimited means. The senior James E. Woodruff, was the best business friend I ever had, and he was also the best business It

partner,

man

I ever knew. Mr. Woodruff thought there would be a sharp advance in the prices of breadstuffs before spring to supply the deficiency in the English market, and he wrote me repeatedly, urging me to buy every barrel of flour we could find and all the wheat and other provisions, and that w^e were at liberty to draw on him for one hundred thousand dollars for that purpose. If we were afraid to buy on our own account, [This account of wheat speculation by a pioneer commission merchant in Davenport is adapted for The Palimpsest from J. M. D. Burrows 's Fifty Years in loua. The Editor]



53

54

THE PALIMPSEST

he said to buy for him. He urged us so strongly and persistently that we followed his advice, buying on

our own account. I visited every point, myself, as far as Dubuque, and bought every barrel of flour and all the grain I could find in New Albany, Savanna, Galena, and Dubuque, besides a large amount of provisions. We also sent an agent on the ice above Dubuque to visit every point and buy all the flour and grain he could find in store. Consequently, at the opening of navigation in the spring of 1846 we controlled the larger part of the produce in store above Davenport. Then came trouble and disaster. -The United States declared war against Mexico that spring, and everything collapsed. Prices tumbled more than onehalf. The only way we could get to the seaboard was by the river to New Orleans and thence by sea to New York. The excitement then prevalent concerning privateers on the ocean almost suspended shipping. Insurance on the ocean advanced to ten per cent.

Soon after the opening of navigation,

move my winter accumulation,

prospect of any change for the better. best to face the music at once.

I

began

to

as I could see no

Our

I

thought

flour, in store

it

on

had been bought at from four dollars to four dollars and fifty cents per barrel and the wheat at an average of sixty cents a bushel. On arriving at St. Louis, the nominal price of flour was from two dollars to two dollars and twenty-five cents a barrel. the river,

'

VENTUKES

IN

WHEAT

55

but no buyers; wheat was forty cents a bushel, for

which there was a small local demand. Selling what wheat we could, we sent out flour and surplus wheat Most of the to New York, where it fared worse. flour became sour on the trip and did not net us over one dollar per barrel, while the wheat went for twenty-five cents a bushel. "When all was sold, Burrows & Prettyman found themselves nearly bankrupt. I do not think we could have paid over twenty-five cents on the dollar, if we had been forced to close up our business. During the following winter people began to get over their scare of the previous season and, a good foreign demand springing up, prices began to advance. Before the advance had fairly commenced. Woodruff, foreseeing what was going to happen, urged me to send out an agent at once and buy everything I could north of Davenport. I did so. People, remembering the disaster of the year before, were willing sellers.

About this time hogs had begun to be plentiful and we were packing so extensively that my winters were occupied chiefly in overseeing that branch of the

in-

was obliged to employ an agent to make the trips abroad. One bitter cold, stormy day, about the first of February, there was nothing doing; no farmers in town, and I was tired of sitting around the stove. I put on my overcoat, and said to Mr. Prettyman, ^'I will go out and trj^ to buy what wheat dustry, so I

there

is in

town.

'

THE PALIMPSEST

56

on Charles Lesslie, at the corner of Front and Brady streets. He had a small warehouse full of very choice wheat, most of it raised by the Brownlies, at Long Grove, who at that time were considered the best farmers in the county. After I first called

I agreed to pay wheat away any time I pleased between then and the first of May, and There were about to pay for it when removed. twenty-five hundred bushels. I then called on William Inslee and bought about the same amount from him, paying the same price. AVhisler then occupied the lot at the corner of Front and Main streets and had a large warehouse nearly full of wheat. I bought him out also at the same

considerable talk I bought him out.

him

sixty cents a bushel, to take the

price of sixty cents a bushel.

This closed out

all

the wheat in town.

to the store well satisfied

As

with

my

I

went back

forenoon

's

work.

wheat for double what I paid for it, we made about five thousand dollars in the operation. All the expense I had was to sack the wheat and deliver it to the boat the buyer furnished I afterwards sold this

:

the sacks.

We

found, at the opening of navigation, that

we

had on hand a larger supply of breadstuffs than any other dealer on the river. The profit on flour which had been made in the fall and held over and on wheat which had been bought in the early part of the winter for thirty cents a bushel,

was simply enormous.

Flour that cost us two dollars

a barrel sold for

seven

VENTURES

IN

WHEAT

we put our

57

on the market By July 1st we had paid as rapidly as possible. every dollar we owed and had money to our credit with which we proposed to put up a flouring mill in Davenport. The town thus far had neither a flour mill nor a sawmill. We intended to give her both. The Crimean War began in the fall of 1853 and in March, 1854, France and England formed an alliance wdth Turkey and declared war on Russia. I had been watching the markets and the foreign news. Most people thought the war would all end in smoke, but Others thought the I believed Russia would fight. war would not affect our markets, but I thought it would, as Russia exported a large quantity of wheat, dollars.

In the spring

especially

stuff

from the port of Sebastopol.

When

that

port was blockaded I believed there would be a sharp

advance in breadstuffs. I was in New York during the early part of July, and visited my old friend, James E. Woodruff. I had many talks with him about the prospect of the business season about to open. At that time breadstuff markets were very much depressed, both in the East and the West. Woodruff asked me what I was going to pay for wheat.

I told

him

fifty cents a bushel.

He

said,

"I

don 't know what you are going to do with it at that price. There is not a market in the world that you can ship wheat to where it will net you more than forty cents a bushel. You ought not to pay to exceed fortv cents. You are too good to the farmers. You

'

THE PALIArPSEST

58

pay too much for produce. You always pay higher prices than any of our customers. You work harder, for less money, than any man I ever knew." "Well," said I, "we are going to have a heavy crop of wheat, and I have doubled the capacity of my mill. Our farmers will not sell wheat freely at less than fifty cents a bushel. Burrows & Prettyman have a large amount standing out which they must get in, and it will require fifty cents a bushel to make collections. I have more faith in the future than you have. I intend to ship everything to New York all my flour and surplus wheat and don't care





how long

am

cause I higher.

on the way the longer the better, besatisfied the prices are going to be much

it is

;

'

returned home. On my way I stopped one day Chicago to see how the markets were. T. J. S. Flint and C. T. Wheeler were the strongest and heaviest grain men in Chicago then, and had the largest elevator in the city. They took me on 'Change and showed me various samples of new winter wheat, which was just beginning to come in from southern Illinois and which was selling that day at sixty cents a bushel. I had a long talk with them about the fall business. They coincided with Woodruff that forty cents was a generous price, and all I ought to pay. I

in

Our

railroad, the Chicago

& Rock

Island,

had just

been opened and freight was very high, being about twenty cents a bushel for wheat from Davenport to

VENTURES

IN

WHEAT

59

The expense of handling the grain in Chicago would amount to about two cents a bushel more. Chicago.

Fifty cents a bushel for spring wheat in Davenport, with twenty-two cents

added for freight and

expenses in Chicago making the price seventy-two cents a bushel,

when

turesome.

But

in

was actusomewhat ven-

the best of fall wheat

ally selling at sixty cents, did look

my

whole experience I never

so sure of a season's business as I did then.

felt

My

friends thought I would ruin myself.

Such a crop of wheat Scott County never produced Farmers were beginning to harvest. Our land was new and in condition to produce its very best. Club wheat had recently been introduced and nearly all the growing crop was of that variety. It stood thick and even on the ground, nearly five feet high, and well headed. For six inches below the head the straw was as yellow as gold. Wheat ran, that year, from thirty to forty bushels before or since.

to the acre.

of the

What was more

wheat was

all

remarkable, the quality You could not get you paid a premium for

number

one.

an inferior quality, even if it. This extraordinary crop made me still more sanguine, and I felt in my very bones that this was the time to pitch in. The heaviest dealers in produce in Davenport, besides myself, Avere J. R. Graham and Gr. W. Kepner.

them I was going to control the wheat market of Davenport that fall and that I should keep the price of wheat about two cents above that paid by I

told

'

THE PALIMPSEST

60

dealers in Muscatine who, at that time, were our onlycompetitors. I also told them that I intended to

draw the wheat from Cedar and Linn counties away from Muscatine.

To Graham & Kepner

I

made

this proposition: '*I

you five cents a bushel for all the wheat you buy between now and the first of next December.

will give will

You

shall put

it

in

my

mill,

on the railroad cars, or

on a steamboat, or wherever I shall instruct you. I you the price each morning which you are

will give

pay that day.

to

will

You

shall

never bid against you.

own money.

pay just what

You

I pay.

will furnish

I

your

want your bills of lading and vouchers every Saturday; you are to bring in your bill every Monday morning and I will pay you. Graham & Kepner accepted my proposition. I used to pay them from ten to twenty thousand dolI

'

lars every

me

Monday morning. Mr. Graham has

since that they never did as well

told

any season as

they did under this arrangement with me. I

had

all

New

of this wheat put into cars for shipment

Arrangements were made with the company to place cars where the farmers could get at them and unload their wheat into the to

York.

railroad

car, thus

saving a second handling and the additional

expense.

& Wlieeler agreed to receive and forward my shipments in Chicago. I told them I expected to be able to load a vessel every week, and that I did not want my wheat inspected. All I wanted was to have Flint

VENTURES them receive the

IN

WHEAT

61

and wheat from day to day as it arrived, hold it until they had enough to load a vessel, and then consign it to Woodruff in New York. It took but a short time to show that I was in luck. Sebastopol was invested. Breadstuffs advanced in Europe. Russia's ports were blockaded: her grain was locked up. The first of my fifty-cent wheat brought two dollars and twenty-five cents a bushel in New York. I made more than one hundred thousand dollars between the first of August and the first of December. Most of the money was made the first sixty days when wheat was low. I began buying at fifty cents and in October I was paying a dollar and flour

forty cents a bushel.

At the

latter price only ordi-

nary profits were made. Everything seemed to favor me that fall. One propeller, loaded entirely with my wheat and flour, exploded on the lake and sank, the whole cargo being lost. Yet I made four thousand dollars by it: the cargo was insured in New York City and I saved the freight from Davenport to New York. For over a year I did a fairly good business. Then came a dreadful blow. First, the news of the death of Nicholas, Czar of Russia then a few months later, the fall of Sebastopol. Everyone knew the war was at an end. Prices of produce fell instantly all over the United States wheat from fifty to sixty cents a bushel; flour, three dollars a barrel; and everything else in proportion. The decline continued day after day. I went to bed on the night the news ar;



62

THE PALIMPSEST

rived two hundred thousand dollars poorer than I

had arisen tlie same morning. I had on the market six thousand barrels of flour, and in Davenport one hundred and fifty thousand bushels of wheat and all my winter's packing, not a dollar's worth of which had been sold. That drop in prices was an overwhelming catastrophe. It broke up nearly every dealer on the Mississippi River, and was really what finally broke Burrows & Prettyman. J.

M. D. BuREOws

Comment by the

Editor

THE MATERIALS OF HISTOEY Historians

who

delve into the prehistoric find few

They view a when Iowa was race of men from

materials and only scattered records.

limestone

cliff,

and

tell

of the time

under the sea; they reconstruct a fragmentary skulls and thigh bones; they visit the Valley of the Kings, and vitalize the reign of Tutankhamen from an inspection of his tomb. They deal with symbols, as all historians should. The annalist of the present age has a different problem, for records of modern life are without number.

The harmony

of events, like the organization of

matter, defies understanding and yet compels con-

To produce cosmos from chaos is the alchemy of modern history. He who undertakes to review all events, to read all accounts, to discover all causes, and to perceive all effects, in order that he ma}^ produce a complete and truthful image of the times, attempts the impossible. templation.

Selection

is

significant

facts,

events, to dwell

erature

It is for the historian to

his task.

— in

to

upon

short,

interpret

the

choose

symbolism of

typical characters, to write to

lit-

be an artist as well as a

scholar.

Abundance

of material has its advantages.

of the newspapers.

What an

Think

infinite variety of sub63

THE PALIMPSEST

64

jects they cover.

With what

i

detail events are de-

and how rich is the comment. Consider the service of photography. The eye of the camera sees all and never forgets. It beggars all language in the realm of description. The most trivial snapshot may be of great value, while the utility of an aerial view of a battle or city is beyond calculation. As for the movies, they verily challenge mortality. Death has lost its meaning to history; for those who are dead still live and move and have scribed,

their being.

Even sound can now be preserved. The past may He who runs need not

be heard as well as seen.

read he :

may

simply look and

listen.

J. E. B.

65 '^~J

L.-d-\JBdc^^

Ann

A. Contested Election,

78

Legislative Episodes

90

"

~

c

ydftN'EtY^BiRiaGsr

Comment

99 The Editor

'

'f

Published MonthwAt IowaQtt By

:iHE State HisroRicAiSoiiEiYoriowA .r!^

k

^^J»J^>M^>^^y:i^!g^g^!^!!:0i^i^y,if,fiy.^;S^SS, '

tNTERED AS SECOND CLASS MATTER JULY 2a IB20 AT THE POST OFUCE AT IOWA CITY IOWA UNDER THE ACT OF AUGUST 24 1912

THE PURPOSE OF THIS MAGAZINE The Palimpsest,

issued monthly by the State His-

devoted to the disseminaSupplementing the other publications of this Society, it aims to present the materials of Iowa History in a form that is attractive and a style to the end that the that is popular in the best sense story of our Commonwealth may be more widely read and cherished.

torical Society of Iowa, is

tion of

Iowa History.



BENJ. F.

Shambaugh SuperintenJenl

THE MEANING OF PALIMPSESTS materials from

were parchments or other which one or more writings had been

erased to give

room

In early times palimpsests

ures

for later records.

were not always complete; and so

But the erasbecame the

it

fascinating task of scholars not only to translate the later records but also to reconstruct the original writ-

ings by deciphering the

dim fragments

of letters partly

erased and partly covered by subsequent

The

history of

Iowa may be likened

texts.

to a palimpsest

which holds the records of successive generations. To decipher these records of the past, reconstruct them, tell the stories which they contain is the task of

and

those

who

PRICE— 10c

write history.

per copy: $1 per year: free to

ADDRESS — The

members

of Society

State Historical Society Iowa City Iowa

65 m/Gbnte^ed >^

Election^

t^islativ^ Epi^ies

3^ ;

; -

^^

78 90 99

^

-

=^

-

*^

a^HE

Editor

>

Published MoNTHiyAr lowACtrr By rS^^^ _ K'^V''? SocieiyofIowa HKioHCAL 'IHE State ::&

/

:t

;

gggaa=fc'^aiii.';»^J

^^^^a^gg^^^<««i^aife4i^^

ENTERED AS SECOND CLASS HATTER JULY 2S «»20 AT THE POST OFFICE AT IOWA CITY IOWA UNDER THE ACT OF AUGUST J4 1912



THE PURPOSE OF THIS MAGAZINE The Palimpsest,

issued monthly

by the

State His-

devoted to the disseminaSupplementing the other pubtion of Iowa History. lications of this Society, it aims to present the materials of Iowa History in a form that is attractive and a style to the end that the that is popular in the best sense story of our Commonwealth may be more widely read

torical Society of Iowa, is



and cherished. BENJ. F.

Shambaugh SuperintenJenI

THE MEANING OF PALIMPSESTS were parchments or other materials from which one or more writings had been erased to give room for later records. But the erasures were not always complete; and so it became the In early times palimpsests

fascinating task of scholars not only to translate the later records

but also to reconstruct the original writ-

by deciphering the dim fragments of letters partly erased and partly covered by subsequent texts. The history of Iowa may be likened to a palimpsest which holds the records of successive generations. To ings

decipher these records of the past, reconstruct them, tell the stories which they contain is the task of

and

those

who

write history.

PRICE— 10c per

copy: $1 per year: free to

ADDRESS The

members

of Society

State Historical Society Iowa City Iowa

JAMES WILSON

The Palimpsest EDITED BY JOHN ELY BRIGGS Issued

Vol. IV

in

March 1923

No. 3

COPYRIGHT 1923 BY THE STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF IOWA

A Man of Vision James Wilson was a man

of vision.

Keen

per-

ception and singleness of purpose were his dominant

His simplicity of life and his broad humanity furnish the key to an understanding of his career. There are few heights of imagination or emotion to record, and no remarkable victories to analyze. Throughout his life, from early boyhood until the close of his long official career, influences and events contributed steadily, logically, and undramatically to the formulation and accomcharacteristics.

love for

plishment of his self-imposed mission.

As James Wilson grew into manhood and assumed family responsibilities, the hardships, the social

in-

and the unhappiness of the American farmer were borne in upon his consciousness with vivid and personal reality. When he analyzed these conditions, he found their origin in economic causes, and the solution, he concluded, lay in the application feriority,

65

THE PALIMPSEST

66

of science.

By

increasing the yield of produce per

by improving the methods of stock raising, by developing facilities for transportation, and by finding new markets, the farmers income would be increased and this, in turn, would break the dull routine of the farm life, raise the standard of living, and create a new rural order. So confident of these conclusions was Mr. Wilson that their accomplishment became the motivating factor of his life, the vision of his service to humanity. A chronology of James Wilson's life is indicative of steady progress. Born on a farm in Ayrshire, Scotland, in 1835, he grew up under the rigid and careful discipline of a Scotch home. In 1851 the family moved to the United States in order to improve their financial position. After remaining in Connecticut for about four years they joined the Scotch settlement on Wolf Creek, in Tama County, Iowa, near the present town of Traer. For a number of years James worked either on his father's acre,

'

farm or that

of his uncle. West Wilson. Just before outbreak of the Civil War, James and his brother, Peter, began farming for themselves. In 1867 James was elected to the General Assembly where he served three terms the last as Speaker of the House of Kepresentatives. His next advancement came in 1872 when he was elected to Congress. Here again he served three terms, though not successively. For a number of years he edited the Traer Star-Clipper in which his

the



A MAN OF VISION articles

on farming attracted much attention.

67

Then

he became professor of agriculture and director of the agricultural experiment station in the State Col-

His highest recat Ames. came in 1897 when President McKinley appointed him Secretary of the Department of

lege

of Agriculture

ognition

Agriculture.

Nature and heredity smiled on James Wilson in a generous fashion, giving him two significant attributes an efficient mind and a kindly temperament that found its satisfaction in a wholesome love for humanity. His father, John Wilson, a middle-class farmer, was a man of intelligence and practical imagination. James inherited both qualities, with :

mutual respect was established between the father and son, John Wilson spared neither time nor effort in teaching his son, and the boy proved to be an apt pupil. When the Wilsons came to Connecticut in 1851, James, then sixteen years of age, had already acquired the rudiments of scientific agriculture. If the boy received from his father a thoughtful bent, he acquired from his mother a sweetness of character, an appreciation of the aesthetic, and a the result that a close

bond

of

life that was to serve as his and aspiration ever afterward. The gentle Jean McCosh gave of her best to her son and he

conception of family

ideal

returned a devotion so exalted that it made all womankind the object of his courtesy and his consideration.

It

was a

characteristic that sometimes

THE PALIMPSEST

68

contrasted oddly with the rude, hearty freedom of the men and women of pioneer American society.

To

He and

his sisters

James Wilson was always a

hero.

could slide the farthest, throw the straightest, ^'he

knew everything."

Later he became the

kindest teacher, the strongest protector, and the

When

he entered upon his official career they followed every step in his progress with an enthusiasm and encouragement that admitted no possibility of failure. As an old man he came back to them and they ministered to his last wants, giving the comforts that only their thoughtfulness could truest friend.

provide.

James Wilson seems

have enjoyed better educamight be expected. Eager to learn, he was given ample time and means for study, though the rigor of Scottish discipline left little time for play. He was able to read at an early age and soon exhibited a fondness for history and literature. Macaulay's ''History of England" was a favorite. It is said that he could tell any story that Scott ever wrote and that he was almost as familiar with Burns. The fundamentals of Latin were acquired under the tutelage of John Ross. Raised in a strict Presbyterian home, he naturally became a student of the Bible, from which he was able to quote freely and much to the point. to

tional opportunities than

An illuminating anecdote is told in this connection. During McKinley's administration at the close of stormy cabinet meetings the President was accus-

A MAN OF VISION tomed

69

to turn to his Secretary of Agriculture with

the question, ''Now, Mr. Wilson, what's the scrip-

was ever ready with always from the Bible.

ture on that?" and Mr. Wilson

passage — not

a pertinent In Roosevelt's cabinet, however, the tables were turned and the President did his own quoting, often from sources unknown to Wilson. Rural life on the Iowa prairie afforded neither the incentive nor the opportunity for classical training, and the young Scotchman entered upon a new phase of his education that savored of the soil and the needs of a new country. Three winters spent in the public schools two as a student and one as a teacher revealed in a concrete manner both the paucity of the rural schools and the imperative need for further school legislation. One year of work in Grinnell College seems to have convinced him of the inability of the private and denominational colleges to provide the secondary and technical education





for an agricultural population.

Henceforth his principal subject of study was people the farms of Iowa were his laboratory. Although a number of American colleges and universities awarded him the honorary degree of doctor of laws, he never received an academic degree. His mind, however, trained in methods of study was directed toward the analysis of a practical problem :

— the

improvement of conditions for the Iowa

farmer.

James Wilson and

his brother Peter

had scarcely

THE PALIMPSEST

70

begun farming for themselves in 1861 when the Civil War commenced, and it became a matter of patriotic duty for one of them to join the army. After con-

was formed. Peter, who was the stronger, agreed to enlist: James was to remain at home, take care of the farm, and divide The the profits with Peter when he returned. scheme worked well, for Peter returned with a commission and the farm had doubled in size and was stocked with all the horses, cattle, and hogs it could siderable thought a plan

support.

During these early years of farming, James Wilson experimented with a theory that has since been generally accepted throughout Iowa as a fundamental of scientific farming. All the fodder, grain, and hay that was raised on the farm, he thought, should be fed to live stock and converted into meat and dairy products. While this practice had many obvious advantages, it also produced a series of other problems. As perceived by Mr. Wilson, these included the development of a satisfactory market for butter, cheese, and meat; improved standards of stock breeding; and the eradication of animal diseases.

The advent

of Mr. Wilson into politics was a dioutgrowth of his agricultural efficiency. He could raise good crops and good stock. He Avas honest, and he inspired the respect of his neighbors. It was a mark of their esteem that he was elected to the county board of supervisors in 1864. rect

A MAN OF VISION

71

Three years later his constituency had widened and he was sent to the State legislature as the Representative from Tama County. His first election in 1867 came in the midst of the corn husking season when there was very little time to prepare for his legislative duties. He was determined, however, to become proficient in parliamentary procedure. For that purpose he fastened a manual of parliamentary law on the end gate and studied the rules while he husked the down-row behind the wagon. Three terms Mr. Wilson served in the General Assembly, the last as Speaker of the House. It was asserted that he was ^'the man in whose hand the gavel of the

House has

for the first time in the his-

tory of the State been placed by the cordial consent of all the

members

of his

own party".

regulation, prohibition, suffrage,

fence laws were the dominant issues.

ment

Railroad

and revision of the In the enact-

of legislation on these subjects, Mr.

Wilson

took a prominent part and acquitted himself creditably. His experience in the Iowa legislature was a valuable asset when his public service took him to

Congress in the years that followed. When he became professor of agriculture at Ames, he was obliged to expand his field of vision. His active farming came to an end, and he turned -his attention to the scientific analysis of the problems of agriculture in general, but particularly in Iowa. Six years he spent in quiet, intensive study. National recognition came to James Wilson in

THE PALIMPSEST

72

when President McKinley called liim to serve The honor meant Secretary of Agriculture. as much, but better than that the position gave him the opportunity of utilizing the resources of the whole nation to inaugurate the broad program of education in behalf of the American farmer that he had been formulating throughout almost half a century. Henceforth his service was national in scope. He entered upon his new task with enthusiasm. The College of Agriculture granted him an indefinite leave of absence, and from that time, except for occasional trips to Iowa where he retained offi1897,

Washington was his permanent home and the United States his field of thought and

cial residence,

responsibility.

One bond

He

him to Iowa. should exercise his

of duty always attached

believed that every

man

made it a rule to return at Often he aided his party in political campaigns, sometimes speaking in districts that others feared to enter. It was his habit, however, to deliver his last speech in a campaign to his home constituency a custom pleasing to himself as well

privilege of voting, so he election time.



as his friends.

Mr. Wilson stated his attitude toward the work of the Department of Agriculture very clearly in his

annual report. The Department was organized, he said, ''to help farmers to a better knowledge of production and its tendencies at home and abroad, first

so as to enable

them

to intelligently

meet the

re-

A MAN OF VISION

73

quirements of home and foreign markets for material that may be profitably grown or manufactured on American farms." It was also intended that the Department should organize a comprehensive system of teaching agricultural science to farmers. The three agencies through which Secretary Wilson

hoped to obtain these results were the State agricultural colleges, the experiment stations, and a corps of competent research scientists in the Department of Agriculture. It was through the latter that he expected to accomplish the most practical and far-reaching results. They were to be his personal assistants, appointed to do specific tasks, and held responsible for the successful

execution

of

their

assignments.

He

planned to secure these workers from the agricultural colleges which were turning out every year scores of intelligent and ambitious young graduates who desired flirther opportunity for study and research. Congress, he proposed, should make appropriations that would attract the most promising of them into government work. Well equipped laboratories at Washington were to be the center of this activity, but the men were also to be sent wherever else they might be needed. Secretary Wilson was well qualified to make this policy effective. He was a good judge of men and he insisted upon the same standards of energy and efficiency among his assistants that he maintained for himself. In scientific fields in which he, himself.

THE PALIMPSEST

74

lie employed specialists, thus exscope of research work to any subject that seemed to need attention. Both the research assistant and the trained scientist, he thought,

was not an expert tending

tlie

should be adequately paid the former a living wage and the latter a salary sufficient to prevent him from :

accepting inducements outside of government service.

The magnitude of the task Secretary Wilson undertook and the energy with which he proceeded to its accomplishment may be indicated by a few special problems. Early in 1897 it became apparent that there would be a surplus of butter on the American market. By midsummer the price of the best creamery butter had fallen to fifteen cents a pound. If this condition continued dairying would decrease and the farmers would sell instead of feed their grain and provender a policy which Mr. Wilson had discouraged for many years. In this contingency the Department of Agriculture made a number of experimental exports of butter for the purpose of creating a foreign demand and securing



exact information concerning the opportunities afforded.

The butter was obtained from leading dairy

prepared with special reference to the of foreign trade, and consigned to a representative of the Department at London who dis posed of it himself. He attempted to ascertain the candid opinion of each buyer as to the quality of the butter. Agents of the Department followed the States,

demands

A MAN OF VISION

75

transportation of the butter in an effort to avoid deprovide refrigeration, and prevent careless

lays,

These experiments demonstrated that American butter could be delivered in prime condition to British consumers within fifteen or twenty days from the time it was made, that the only absolutely pure butter imported into Great Britain came from the United States and Denmark, and that the handling.

America could be increased over fifty per cent in a few months. Another problem of an entirely different nature attracted Mr. Wilson's attention. Enormous sums of money were being lost each year because farmers had no authoritative means of forecasting weather conditions. This was true in the grain States, but more particularly in the fruit regions of the Far "West. Daily weather reports were telegraphed to thousands of towns and broadcast to surrounding price of butter in

farms over rural telephones.

A

number

of corollary functions developed

from

Mr. Wilson conceived the idea of sending out weekly climate and crop reports the daily weather service.

This data enabled the farmer to judge future market conditions, it indicated the type of product best suited to a particular locality, and it suggested the adaptation of new products to fit peculiar conditions of soil and climate. Losses from storms and floods were curtailed by means of special reports based on daily temperature and rain-gauge readings from all parts to all parts of the country.

THE PALIMPSEST

76 of the country.

Specialists

were able

to predict

river floods with astonishing accuracy, while advance reports of storms made it possible for lake vessels to seek safety in time.

Secretary Wilson was espestudy of the geographical distribution of plants and animals with a view to locating the boundaries of their natural habitat, the

In the biological

field

cially interested in the

study of the food habits of birds and mammals to ascertain the economic relations of native species, the eradication of insect pests by the development of parasites, and the prevention of disease among domestic animals. By means of chemical analysis of soil and the comparison of American soils with those of other countries, the Secretary determined what grains and grasses could be successfully introduced. He wanted to secure products that would withstand the alkali and drouth of the West, that would rejuvenate the worn-out soil of the East, and that were adapted to the cheap land of the South. The object was to substitute superior foreign grasses, grains, and fruits for inferior native varieties.

Nor was Mr. Wilson unmindful of the needs of the farm. Under his direction some educational work was begun in dietetics, methods of cooking, and food values. On this subject let him speak for himself: "In the great work of helping

women on

the

women

of our land, nearly half of

toiling in the

homes upon our farms,

whom

this

are

Depart-

"

'

A MAN OF VISION

77

ment, it is believed, has a large duty to perform. For, whatever will be effective in raising the grade of the home life on the farm, in securing the better nourishment of the farmer's family, and in surrounding them with the refinements and attractions of a well-ordered home, will powerfully contribute alike to the material prosperity of the country and the general welfare of the farmers." Later he carried the idea much farther when he expressed the wish that the Department might extend its assistance to those "who are engaged in the noble task of giving practical training to the future wives and

mothers of our farmers and to the vast army of faithful women who are bearing the heavy burdens of keeping the farmers' homes pure and sweet and rearing the future masters of our vast agricultural domain. James Wilson was Secretary of Agriculture for sixteen years serving through the administrations of Presidents McKinley, Roosevelt, and Taft. He was a member of the cabinet longer than any other man in the history of the United States. His achievements were amazing. He began with a great purpose and remained to witness the fulfillment of his vision. His final report closes with this sentence: *'Men grow old in service and in years, and cease their labor, but the results of their labor and the children of their brains will live on and may whatever of worth that is in these be everblooming. '



;

Bertha

Ann Reuter

A Contested Election The

first unofficial

returns from the Congressional

Iowa in November, were discouraging to the Republicans. Benjamin T. Frederick, a Democrat, had apparently been elected to Congress by the very narrow margin of election in the fifth district of

1882,

sixteen votes.

A

more astonishing feature

of the

election was the defeat of the Republican candidate, James Wilson. ''Tama Jim", as he was commonly called, was almost universally respected and admired, while his Democratic opponent was unpopular even among members of that party. '*So near

and yet so far", sighed a Republican editor, and then proceeded to upbraid the rank and file of his party for their apparent indifference and neglect. A few days later the clouds of Republican gloom were dispelled by corrected election returns which gave James Wilson a plurality of twenty-five votes. The original count, it was reported, had not included the votes cast in Taylor Township of Marshall County, which had been disregarded by the county board of supervisors because one of the judges had not signed the poll books.

Afterward, however, a law was discovered which authorized a majority of the judges of election to act for the entire body. Thereupon the supervisors certified the Taylor

Township votes 78

to the State

Board

of Canvassers,

A CONTESTED ELECTION

79

deand the Republican candidate was accordingly

clared elected.

But Mr. Frederick was not readily.

He

to be disposed of so in an effort

decided to spare no pains

to

being issued to prevent the certificate of election his conMr. Wilson. Failing in that he would carry a maSince Representatives. test to the House of Forty-eighth of the Representatives in the jority

his Congress were Democrats he anticipated that approved. claim to a seat would be beEarly in December, 1882, a hearing was held Mr. Wilson fore the State Executive Council. Both was former the present: and Mr. Frederick were while represented by J. H. Bradley of Marshalltown, as Timothy 0. Brown and B. F. Kaufman served Frederick Mr. of behalf counsel for the latter. On Board of Canvassers had it was urged that the State merely no judicial power over election returns, but

making official acthe Marceptance. The second certificate sent by Mr. Brown shall County board of supervisors, simply a but return, maintained, was not an election therefore statement of what the board had done, and consider it. To the State canvassers had no right to decision was Court support this position a Supreme board had once cited which held that if an election

the administrative function of

it could completed its count and signed the returns that admitted was it though not make a recount precinct or this decision applied only to township



canvassers.

'

THE PALIMPSEST

80

Mr. Bradley, on the other hand, pointed out that according to law the county board of supervisors of Marshall County had erred in throwing out the votes from Taylor Township. He claimed that the supervisors, acting as the board of canvassers, were enin the performance of a ministerial duty and should not have judged upon the validity of the poll books. The names of the election judges appeared

gaged

thereon and the fact that a clerk had signed for one of the judges did not alter the case. Moreover, the law plainly stated that the action of a majority of the election judges was sufficient. He too supported his contentions with citations from decisions which had been rendered by State and Federal courts, and requested that the certificate of election be issued on the basis of the corrected returns from Marshall County. The Executive Council appears to have taken no decisive action immediately after the hearing and Mr. Frederick's next move was to apply to the district court of Polk County for a writ of injunction forbidding a count of the votes from Taylor Township. The writ was issued by Judge William H. McHenry but in spite of this action a certificate of election was given to Mr. Wilson. "It remains for Mr. Frederick", said a Democratic editor, ''to carry his case to a higher tribunal where justice and nonpartisanship will obtain in determining the legal right.

'

Accordingly the dispute was carried to the Forty-

A CONTESTED ELECTION

81

December of 1883. The papers were formally presented to Eepresentatives on January 10, 1884,

eighth Congress in

relating to the contest

the

House

of

and were referred

to the

committee on elections.

No

report concerning the contest appears to have been

made during

the first session of the Forty-eighth Congress, but on February 19, 1885, only thirteen days before the end of that Congress, Risden Bennett, a Representative from North Carolina, report-

ed on behalf of the Democratic majority of the

committee on elections that in its opinion James Wilson had not been elected from the Fifth Con-

was therefore the House, and that Benja-

gressional District of Iowa, that he

not entitled to a seat in

min

T. Frederick should be seated.

also served notice that he

would

call

for consideration at an early date. of

Edward K.

Mr. Bennett

up the report

Upon the

Valentine, a Representative

braska, leave to

file

request

from Ne-

a report containing the views of

the minority of the committee

on elections was

granted, and four days later, on February 23rd, this

report was submitted by Samuel H. Miller, a Repre-

from Pennsylvania. The reports of the committee on

sentative

elections indicate

were no longer based upon the returns from Taylor Township in Marshall County, but upon irregularities in many precincts that the issues of the contest

throughout the district. Indeed, the majority of the committee graciously admitted the returns from Taylor Township in spite of the fact that, according

82

THE PALIMPSEST

had been irregularly and in spite of the contention that the counting of these votes had actually been commenced before the polls were closed. Most of the circumstances in dispute related to the to their contentions, these votes

certified to the State authorities

Congressional election votes According to this second count, the supporters of Mr. Frederick claimed that their candidate had been elected by a plurality of twenty-three votes. Mr. Wilson's proponents objected to giving the seat to the Democratic candidate on the results of '' pretended recounts" because hired agents of Mr. Frederick had tampered with the ballots and had opened ballot boxes and counted votes without the knowledge of Mr. Wilson or his agents. One agent for Mr. Frederick admitted that he had been employed for about twenty-one days ''laying the foundation" for the contest, and had visited about thirty precincts in which the ballot boxes had been opened. He insisted, however, that he did not change any of the ballots but merely "touched them with the rubber end of his pencil". A ballot box in Tama was alleged to have been forcibly opened with a hatchet by the chairman of the local Democratic party committee prior to the recount. In Marshalltown the ballots were said to have been dumped into a large paper box which was kept in the rear office room of some local business men, a room which was open to general recount

of

which had been made.

the public generally and especially to Frederick

and

A CONTESTED ELECTION

83

who

frequently met there to play cards. The majority report dwelt upon irregularities

his friends

claimed to have been practiced at the election by The election returns

the supporters of Mr. Wilson.

from Homer Township in Benton County showed that sixty-six votes had been cast for Wilson and only thirty-five for Frederick, while the vote for other candidates on party lines the

reverse.

Later,

forty-two

was almost exactly electors

declared

under oath that they had meant to vote for Mr. Frederick. It was claimed that a Republican had supplied some of the German voters with ballots labeled "Democratic" and bearing the name of James Wilson as a candidate for Congress, and had led them to believe that by casting these ballots they would be voting for the Democratic candidate, Frederick.

The contest was not brought before the House day of March. Only two more days

until the second

and the final session of the Forty-eighth Congress would come to an end. If Mr. Wilson's friends could prevent the resolution to seat his opponent from coming to a vote he would be able to complete his term without the stigma of the charge of having usurped the position. To attain this end the minorevery parliamentary means at their The fact that the resolution was a privileged measure limited the resources for filibustering, so that the Wilson adherents were confined to the ity resorted to

disposal.

use of objections to consideration, roll

calls,

motions

THE PALIMPSEST

84

for recesses with

amendments

thereto, calls of the

House to determine the presence of a quorum, adjournments, and other motions of high privilege.] These tactics were employed most effectively, however, and the resolution was submerged until in the closing hours of the session when some much desire( legislation Avas tied up by the filibuster. All through the night of March 3rd the House remained in session, striving frantically to finish the work before the hour of final adjournment. The inauguration of President Cleveland was only a few hours away. The city of Washington thronged with visitors. Early in the forenoon of March 4th spectators filled the House and Senate galleries to witness the closing scenes of the Forty-eighth Congress.

Former

were present in large numbers, attracted chiefly by their interest in a bill authorizing the President to place upon the retired list one person from among the former generals of the United States armies with the rank and pay of a general. The measure was designed for the relief of General Grant, then mortally ill and devoid of means of soldiers

support.

On the floor of the House many Eepresentatives sought to obtain favorable action on the bill, which had already passed the Senate. The idea had won popular approval, and was supported by a substantial majority in the House of Representatives, chiefly Republicans and Democrats from the North. A serious obstacle stood in the way. Directly pre-

I

A CONTESTED ELECTION

85

ceding the Grant bill in the order of business was the Frederick-Wilson election contest. The pension bill might have been acted upon under a suspension of the rules

when

it

was

called up, with the election

still pending, but Mr. Bennett had objected and so long as the objection was maintained the Grant bill could not be acted upon until after the

contest

disposal of

all

other privileged motions.

It

was

therefore imperative that the contested election be

decided before the measure for the relief of General Grant could be passed.

Mr. Wilson's friends found themselves in a dilemma. They knew full well that if they allowed a vote upon the election contest Wilson would be deFully capable of continuing the they were in no mood to desert their colleague during the closing hours of the Congress. Even if they should allow the election contest to be decided their opponents might afterward refuse to act upon the Grant bill. Moreover, they had no positive assurance that the Grant bill would pass if it was permitted to come to a vote. Yet to continue the filibuster would be absolutely fatal to the measure providing comfort for a former President and expressing a nation's gratitude to one who had contributed largely to the preservation of the Union a measure which they earnestly desired to have enacted into law. What should they do ? The position of Wilson's opponents was much less difficult. While many of them were willing to vote

prived of his seat.

filibuster to the end,



THE PALIMPSEST

86

General Grant they

no particular obligation in the matter. For the most part they would have been quite satisfied to let the measure die. There were even a few bitter Southern Democrats relief to

who

seized

upon the

felt

election contest as a Aveapon to

defeat the cherished plan of Northern sion their

most successful leader

men

in the Civil

to pen-

War.

The forenoon of March 4th slipped away. As Joshua commanded the sun and moon to stand still God's people over their enemies might be more complete, so now the clocks of Congress were turned back that this battle of parliamentary wits might continue. In the Vice President's room Grover Cleveland awaited the inaugural ceremony, while President Arthur was busy in order that the victory of

in his office at the Capitol signing the last acts of the

Congress.

In the House of Representatives members were clamoring for recognition. Their eagerness to be heard only lessened the possibilities of concluding the business. In the midst of this tumult was James Wilson vitally interested in the outcome and tech-



nically disqualified

from participating

in the contest,

was make the decision. was not the first time that the balance of power in Congress had rested in the hands of an lowan. Only a few years before Senator James W. Grimes, though he was seriously ill at the time, had gone to the Senate chamber and cast the vote that prevented Andrew Johnson from being removed from the office yet he alone It

in a position to

A CONTESTED ELECTION of President of the United States. ficed his political future, time

vote.

Would James Wilson

Though he

87 sacri-

has vindicated that

exhibit similar unselfish-

ness in order that the United States might render a

token of gratitude to General Grant? A few more minutes of filibustering and the Fortyeighth Congress would end. If the records were to show that James Wilson had represented the Fifth Congressional District of Iowa from 1883 to 1885, it Avould be at the sacrifice of the pension for the sick

and needy ex-President and commander of the Union armies. If the pension Avas to be granted, it would mean that the election contest would first be decided against AVilson and the records would seem to indicate that James Wilson had fraudulently held his seat until the closing hours of the last session. Mr. Wilson could not have been unmindful of these considerations, as he decided

upon

his course of action.

Confusion in the House had reached its highest pitch. Time and again the Speaker had reminded the Representatives of the impossibility of conducting business unless quiet and decorum prevailed. The sergeant-at-arms had been directed to maintain order and to cause the members to resume their seats. It had even become necessary for the deputy sergeant-at-arms to proceed through the hall bearing the mace. During these attempts to restore order Mr. Bennett demanded a vote upon the resolution ousting Mr. Wilson from membership in the House of Repre-

THE PALIMPSEST

88

As

withdraw the minority would his objection to the pension permit a decision of the contested election. "I do not say more", he added. *'I do not keep the consciences of members. God Almighty has made the human mind free, and gentlemen can vote as they please." These remarks elicited laughter and during the tumult that followed Mr. Wilson sought to address the House. His efforts to attract the attention of the Speaker proved to be of no avail, however. At length Thomas A. Robertson from Kentucky, a Democratic member of the committee on elections, informed the Speaker that the gentleman from Iowa desired to make a statement and requested that he sentatives.

for himself he promised to bill if

be recognized. At once the chamber became strangely quiet, and every ear was strained to hear the words of the man in whose hands lay the balance of power. ''Mr.

Speaker," he said, ''if the House will vote to put General Grant on the retired list I am willing to be sacrificed after that."

Loud applause greeted this announcement, but Mr. Bennett was uncompromising. He persisted in demanding a vote on the contested election resolution before any other business should be transacted. Samuel H. Miller, a Republican member of the committee on elections, who had led the filibuster to keep from coming to a vote, bill were taken immediately he would withdraw all objection to dethe contested election case stated that

if

a vote on the Grant

A CONTESTED ELECTION

i

89

ciding the contested election afterward. When his proposal was met with cries of "Oh no!" he finally offered to allow a vote upon the contested election first. He hoped that the House would act upon both measures. Again Mr. Bennett reiterated his demand that the Speaker put the previous question, and after one more short parliamentary skirmish the House proceeded to vote upon the resolution, ''That James Wilson was not elected as a Representative in Congress from the fifth district of Iowa, and is not entitled to a seat on the floor of this House", and further, "That Benjamin T. Frederick was duly elected as a Representative in Congress from the fifth district of Iowa, and is entitled to be sworn in as a member of this House." The result was true to expectations: James Wilson lost his seat, and Benjamin T. Frederick, presenting himself at the

resolution

fairly

bar of the House, took the oath of office. A few minutes later, when the Grant bill passed the House, Mr. Frederick voted "Yea", as James Wilson would have done. And thus it happened that General Grant's last days were filled with contentment because an Iowa Congressman surrendered his seat in the House of Representatives.

Jacob

Van Ek

i

Legislative Episodes "While James Wilson was a member of the Iowa General Assembly he was chiefly responsible for two epoch-making pieces of legislation railroad regulation and the ^'herd law". Back of both enactments was the single idea of the protection of Iowa farmIn laying the foundation for governmental ers. rate fixing Mr. Wilson anticipated the not far-dis:

tant day when the interests of shippers and carriers would clash. The ''herd law" was the political acknowledgment of the transition of Iowa from prairie to field, with all the fundamental changes

that implied.

1

Prior to 1868 the policy of both State and Federal had been to stimulate railroad construction by every means within their power. Millions of acres of the best land in Iowa were donated to the legislatures

cause; to^vnships, counties, and cities were authorized to tax themselves heavily in aid of

new

rail-

roads; and railroad companies were granted the

power

of eminent domain.

Individuals contributed

money with courageous optimism, while gifts of rights of way and depot sites were common. Every inducement was extended to railroad builders to multiply the tracks of the iron horse. No doubt the public paid far more toward the construction of the first railroads in Iowa than the stockholders did. 90

LEGISLATIVE EPISODES

91

In spite of all this encouragement the westward progress of the railroads was slow and uncertain. The people clamored for the fulfillment of promises long deferred. There was little thought of restrictive regulation, present or future: the cry was for railroads railroads at any price. Governor William M. Stone, in his annual message to the Twelfth General Assembly, declared that while some of the railroad companies which had received land grants had failed to comply with the conditions stipulated the legislature would be ''justified in the exercise of



still

farther leniency toward them."

Any

legisla-

he thought, "tending to their discouragement should be avoided". To the Twelfth General Assembly fell the task of dealing with the delinquent land grant railroads. Several bills were introduced in the House of Representatives and referred to the committee on railtion,

James AVilson was a member. A farmer himself and the representative of a rural community, he naturally favored legislation fostering the new railroads. But he was not as willing to mortgage the future as some of his colleagues. Perhaps the construction of the Iowa Central Air Line (the Chicago and Northwestern route) through the southern part of Tama County in 1862 and the presence of the road from Dubuque to Iowa Falls fifteen or twenty miles north of his county had some bearing upon his attitude. His inherent antipathy to any action that might prove detrimental to the interroads, of which

92

THE PALIMPSEST

ests of agriculture

was

also a decisive factor in

determining his position. The first measure reported to the House by the committee on railroads was a bill ''providing for and requiring the early construction of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad". The majority of the committee were opposed to any provision which might detract from the inducements to build, but James Wilson and one other member refused to accept the majority opinion and submitted a minority report declaring that the bill ought not to pass without a proviso "reserving to the State of Iowa the right of regulating and restricting the freights

and fares charged by said railroad company, when in the opinion of the General Assembly they may ])ecome oppressive."

For two whole days and parts of two more a hot debate was waged upon the floor of the House. There seemed to be no opposition to renewing the land grant of 1856 and legalizing the issuance of by the company, but many legislators, especially those from the counties through which the road was to be built, doubted the advisability of imposing any restrictions. Frederick Rector of Fremont County said he had become convinced that it was wrong to legislate against the railroads. It would be time to legislate upon the subject when there was any evidence that the influence or rates of the railroads had become destructive of the interests additional stock

of the State.

LEGISLATIVE EPISODES

93

Mr. Wilson maintained that there ought to be no Assembly would impose upon

fear that the General the railroads

— the

opposite was more likely to be

There were men, he said, who would advise anything except guarding the interests of the the case.

people.

John Hayden

of Jefferson

County was opposed

to

enjoining restrictions upon the Rock Island Rail-

road that could not be placed upon other roads. To Gibson Browne of Lee County replied that he realized how much the State was indebted to the railroads for its civilization, but he was none the less in favor of the amendment of the gentleman

this

from Tama. Other members were emphatic in expressing the same opinion. Man after man arose to say that he was not disposed to be unfair to the railroads, but felt that this was a golden moment. ''We must assert our right to-day to regulate the charges upon this railroad or forever after remain quiet", declared L. F. Parker, professor of ancient languages in Grinnell College

and Representative of Poweshiek

County.

There were some, however, who the notion that

it

was inexpedient

persisted in not unconstitu-

still

if

tional for the State legislature to fix railroad rates,

especially if such regulation was confined to the land grant railroads, and they attempted to delay further consideration. Mr. Wilson interposed with a motion to vote upon the question and his amend-

THE PALIMPSEST

94

make

Rock Island Railroad subject to rate regulation was adopted by a vote of fifty-four to twenty-nine. The bill as amended then passed the House without a single dissenting vote and the ment

to

the

Senate concurred. Other land grant bills were considered by the Twelfth General Assembly. In every instance the House committee on railroads proposed to postpone the issue of rate regulation, but just as invariably James Wilson made a minority report, sometimes supported by another member of the committee, sometimes alone. Although his amendments always met obstinate opposition they were adopted in every instance, and every land grant act since that time has contained a similar provision. Thus, it was by virtue of the vision and independence of

Iowa

James Wilson

first

that the State legislature of

asserted the power to regulate railroad

rates in the interest of the public.

When

Assembly was organized in 1870, James Wilson was appointed chairman of the House committee on agriculture. Of all the problems confronting the farmers of Iowa at that time he regarded the need of a herd law as the most important. The third measure introduced in the House that session was a bill by Mr. Wilson to restrain stock from running at large. On February 7th the question came before the House and Mr. Wilson took the floor to present a "number of facts in support" of the measure. '

the Thirteenth General

'

'

'

LEGISLATIVE EPISODES Existing fence legislation,

wants of the farmer in early settlers

who

lie

95

said, ''expresses the

clays that are past."

The

located along the well-timbered

streams had ready at hand the material to fence farms and thus protect their crops from stock that Avas allowed to graze at large upon the uncultivated land. But the extension of the railroads and the high price of wheat had enticed the pioneers out upon the prairie, where the difficulties of fencing their fields constituted a serious problem. There was not enough timber in the whole State of Iowa to fence its farms as fences were then built. Already the scarcity of fence material was being felt in some sections. ''The early settlers have cut down the fine groves that should have been left to relieve the monotony of the landscape, furnish a sanctuary for the birds and ameliorate the rigors of our climate", declared Mr. Wilson. "The supply of native timber will be completely exhausted in furnishing ties for railroads, material for bridges, and fence posts, before it can be replaced from artificial groves; while the birds, our only protection from insects, are by law invited to leave the State." In Mr. Wilson's opinion it was imperative to relieve the prairie farmers of the exactions of the existing Iowa fence laws. The cost of fencing a prairie farm, he computed, amounted to more than the original price of the land. By the time a homesteader had built a house, bought some live stock, and purchased a few implements his means were their



THE PALIMPSEST

96

To compel such a man to fence farm was an unwarranted requirement, and yet a

usually exhausted. his

neighbor's cattle ought not to be allowed to destroy his crops with impunity.

The remedy, as he saw

it,

was

tures instead of the grain fields.

care of his

own

stock.

to fence the pas-

Let every one take

At that time each Iowa farm

maintained an average of about nine cattle. Where is the necessity of fencing 160 acres of land for the privilege of keeping nine head of cattle?" he exclaimed. "An acre of land for each, seeded in clover and fenced, would keep them better than they are now kept." In the newly settled counties in the northwestern part of the State the farmers o"\vned much less live stock than the average so that ''the fencing of one section in a township, or one acre in thirty-six", was all that would be necessary. ''Perhaps more petitions have been presented for your consideration on this subject than ever were before sent upon any other, except the temperance question", said Mr. Wilson, in concluding his speech. "We do not ask a general law, although we believe the whole State would be benefitted; nor do I wish '

'

to take the responsibility of

for

my

county.

We wish

to

making

final legislation

submit

it

way by which

majority providing

to a

vote of any county desiring to act upon

it,

can be repealed." Debate on the bill was confined almost entirely to the procedure of assessing damages against the person whose stock trespassed upon another man's a

it

LEGISLATIVE EPISODES property. the

As

finally

House by a vote

97

amended the measure passed and was

of eighty to twelve,

accepted by the Senate, though not without vigorous opposition of a few members.

The work

of Mr.

Wilson

in the

Twelfth and Thir-

commendNot only had

teenth General Assemblies seems to have

ed him strongly to his constituents. he insisted upon the right of the State to regulate railroad rates and secured a more equitable fence law in behalf of the farmers in the newly settled western part of the State, but he had steadfastly supported the temperance forces on the liquor question and had voted for an equal suffrage amendment to the Constitution both of which were prominent issues of the day. At all events he was reelected in 1871 for his third successive term in the General Assembly one of five Eepresentatives upon whom that honor was conferred that year. The results of the election were no sooner announced than it was generally assumed that James Wilson would be chosen Speaker of the House. Shortly after the election Cicero Close announced his candidacy for the speakership but as public opinion became more and more favorable to Mr. Wilson he apparently gave up his aspirations to the office. "Tama Jim" was popular among his colleagues and his reputation for not being bitterly partisan made him acceptable to all factions. When the Republican House caucus met, James Wilson was unanimously selected as the party candidate





'

THE PALIMPSEST

98

for Speaker

time

' '

— an

honor bestowed

in the history of Iowa.

' ^

' '

for the first

Iowa has few men

more worth, none of a better manliness, none more thoroughly a representative of the people", commented the Des Moines Register. "That Mr, of

Wilson

will

prove a popular presiding

officer, his

experience in legislative work, acquaintance with

parliamentary law, promptness character, added to ing, leave

and decision of a dignified and courteous bear-

no doubt."

Inasmuch as the House was overwhelming Republican, the actual election of Mr. Wilson was a mere formality. Having been conducted to the chair, he made a short speech in which he expressed his appreciation of the honor and concluded with the statement: '^Regarding every member upon the

my

personal friend, I will endeavor to discharge the duties of the chair with fairness, and in the spirit in which you placed me here. The Speaker had no sooner taken his seat than a colored waiter from the old Savery House was seen passing down the aisle, bearing a tray on which was floor as

'

a bottle of wine and a glass goblet. He stopped at Ed Campbell's desk, whereupon the genial Democrat from Fairfield deliberately filled the goblet with wine and, after a fulsome greeting, drank a toast of good felloAvship to the success of the Speaker, while the other members looked on in astonishment.

John Ely Briggs

i

Comment by the

Editor

BIOGKAPHY

Biography is history in the singular. Yet history, though it is based upon biography, is not the plural Biography is perpendicular; while formal of it. history is horizontal and cuts athwart the lives of men and women, destroying the continuity of their careers. Any chronicle of events deforms biography, for the character and deeds of people are distorted when displayed only in glimpses amidst distracting scenes upon a crowded stage. History is apt to make puppets of men to do the bidding of cause and effect. In another sense biography may be conceived as the soil from which civilization has sprung. Since every human achievement has been rooted in the life of some man or woman, every idea, no matter how abstract or general, has been ultimately personal. Religion and government result from the action of personality upon the relations of Grod and man. The most amazing discovery of science is after all only the creature of someone's intellect. And what is art but the expression of the soul of the artist? The charm of personality is what gives biography It is not so much what a man its perennial appeal. does as what he is that perpetuates his memory. 99

THE PALIMPSEST

100

Character

is

human

the immortal element in any

life.

To portray

the spirit of the subject truly

is the height of biographical achievement. It is not necessary to embalm a man's career in several volumes:

a vivid portrait may be sketched with a few illuminating anecdotes and a clear analysis of character. Vitality

phy

is

is

essential to

pen portraiture.

If biogra-

to attain its proper place in literature, let

biographers take heed of the consummate who make their heroes

the writers of fiction

skill of live.

J. E. B.

\

|0l Ruth A.

!r

^

GALtAj^Et^

JO^|PHINE BARK5fybo^OyA^^

121

l^^on*^ Apple OrcSa^ ft-

^

"

Ben: IIVR

.

Witsbii.,,^^^^^^^^'"

Comment

132 The Editor '^"^-^

Published MoNTHiyAr lowACmr By

IHE State HisroMCAf SqcieiyofIowa ENTERED AS SECOND CLASS MATTER JULY 28 1920 AT THE POST OFFICE AT IOWA CITY IOWA UNDER THE ACT OF AU6U3T 24 1912

THE PURPOSE OF THIS MAGAZINE The Palimpsest,

issued monthly

by the

State His-

devoted to the dissemination of Iowa History. Supplementing the other publications of this Society, it aims to present the materials of Iowa History in a form that is attractive and a style to the end that the that is popular in the best sense story of our Commonwealth may be more widely read torical Society of Iowa, is



and cherished. BENJ. F.

Shambaugh Superintendent

THE MEANING OF PALIMPSESTS materials from

were parchments or other which one or more writings had been

erased to give

room

In early times palimpsests

for later records.

ures were not always complete;

and so

But the erasit

became the

fascinating task of scholars not only to translate the later records

but also to reconstruct the original writ-

by deciphering the dim fragments of letters partly erased and partly covered by subsequent texts. The history of Iowa may be likened to a palimpsest which holds the records of successive generations. To ings

decipher these records of the past, reconstruct them, tell the stories which they contain is the task of those who write history.

and

PRICE

— lOc

per copy: $1 per year: free to

ADDRESS — The

members

of Society

State Historical Society Iowa City Iowa

The Palimpsest EDITED BY JOHN ELY BRIGGS Vol. IV

Issued

in

April 1923

No. 4

COPYRIGHT IB23 BY THE STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF IOWA

The Iowa At noon on the twenty-eighth of March, 1896, the shipyard of William Cramp and Sons at Philadelphia was thronged with spectators many of them prominent officials from Washington and the State of Iowa. The day was warm, and the sunlight sparkled on the water of the Delaware Eiver and lighted up the keel of a giant ship which, resplendent in red and white paint, rested as if in a cradle at the head of an incline. This was the



center of attraction.

There was a word of command, the sound of a saw somewhere below, and the great hull began to move. At this moment Mary Lord Drake, the daughter of the Governor of Iowa, dashed a bottle of champagne against the bow which towered high above her head and, as the sparkling wine ran down the side, said, ''I christen thee Iowa^\ Not many heard the words, however, for innumerable whistles 101

:

THE PALIMPSEST

102

blew a noisy welcome as the keel slipped down the ways and floated out npon the waters of the Delaware, while the thousands of spectators cheered the promise of a new national defender. Perhaps it was prophetic of the future that, in a poem written on this occasion, S. H. M. Byers included this stanza Far better the ship go down

And

her guns, and her thousand men, In the depth of the sea to drown,

Than ever to sail again With the day of her promise done. Or the star of her glory set, Or a thread from the standard gone That has never yielded

yet.

Thus was born upon the surface of the waters the battleship Iowa which had been authorized by an act of Congress on July 19, 1892, with an initial appro-

Slowly during the months which followed the keel became a warship, bearing upon her sides an armor of plated steel and having within five great boilers and two sets of triple expansion engines which were to give to the empty frame the throb of life. priation of four million dollars.

When

finally completed, at a total cost of $5,871,-

Iowa well deserved the title, ** queen of warships", which had been conferred upon her by a newspaper correspondent at the time of the launching. oneThree hundred and sixty feet long fifth longer than the average city block and over 206.32, the





'

I

THE IOWA

103

seventy-two feet wide, the Iowa had a displacement The lighting plant of over eleven thousand tons. alone weighed forty-five tons.

She carried four

12-

inch, eight 8-inch, and six 4-inch guns, in addition to numerous smaller weapons, and was capable of a

speed of sixteen knots an hour. An enthusiastic Iowa editor declared: ^*As an example of the American naval architect's skill she is an achievement of which we should well be proud, and a namesake in which any state might glory. A crew of about five hundred officers and men, under the command of Captain W. T. Sampson, was assigned to the new battleship and on June 16, 1897, the Iowa, equipped with intellect as well as body and life, was put in commission. On July 19th, the silver service, purchased with an appropriation of five thousand dollars by the Iowa General Assembly, was presented to the ship at Newport, Rhode Island, by C. G. McCarthy, State Auditor of Iowa, whose brief speech included this wish: ''While we hope that our navy shall never turn from the face of an enemy, may we not indulge '

the larger hope that this stately

Iowa and

the other

— armored and unarmored — shall somehow find a place as messengers of peace rather than of war — be heralds of human battleships and the cruisers

progress rather thanfoemen in international strife." The gift was accepted by Captain Sampson. Less than a year later, however, the Iowa was stationed outside the harbor of Santiago, Cuba,

104

THE PALIMPSEST command

Admiral Pascual de Cervera had taken refuge. The Cuban situation and the sinking of the Maine had at last brought on war between Spain and the United States. In the bottle-like harbor, shut off from view by high cliffs, were the Spanish warships which had

wliere the Spanish fleet under the

crossed the Atlantic, like the

Armada

bat Anglo-Saxon civilization.

of

of old, to com-

"While

American

cruisers patrolled the ocean, and seaboard cities be-

bombardment, the Spanish fleet had slipped into the harbor and a squadron of the United States navy was watching the entrance, lest the enemy's ships again escape to threaten American cities and commerce. An attempt had been made by Richmond P. Hobson and seven sailors to so block the harbor that the Spanish fleet could not come out, but the plan did not prove entirely successful. There was still a passage way, and the American warships, stationed in a like huge cats pasemi-circle about the harbor were doubtless hoptiently watching a mouse hole ing that the enemy would venture out. The morning of July 3, 1898, was clear and calm. On board the American ships preparations were being made for inspection and religious services, for At the extreme eastern point of the it was Sunday. crescent formed by the blockading squadron was the New York, the flagship of Rear Admiral Sampson who had been the first captain of the Iowa. Far to the west was the BrooMyn, one of the fastest of the gan

to talk of possible

— —

THE IOWA

105

pennant of Commodore "W. S. Schley, the second in command. Between the two from east to w^est lay the Indiana, the Oregon the just in from her trip around South America Iowa, and the Texas. Smaller craft hovered about. The Neiu York was just starting eastward to Siboney where Admiral Sampson was to have a conference with General William R. Shafter. Suddenly, at nine-thirty-five, the Sabbath calm

American

ships, flying the





which lay over the scene was broken, when the Iowa,

mouth of the harbor, from a small gun and raised the signal, ''The enemy is attempting to escape". The same signal soon flew from every ship and the Brooklyn the flagship in the absence of the New York stationed directly opposite the

fired a shot





signalled, ''Clear for action".

the Spanish ships were It was no false alarm: steaming out of the harbor. At the head, flying the Admiral 's pennant, came the Infanta Maria Teresa, the red and yellow flag of Spain showing vividly against the green of the sloping Cuban shore. Behind her were the Vizcaya, the Cristohal Colon, and the Almirante Oquendo, followed by the smaller destroyers Pluton and Furor. The signal from the flagship was hardly needed. With one accord the American sailors hurried to their places, literally throAving themselves down the ladders in their eagerness to reach their stations, while deep in the holds the engineers and firemen

worked frantically

to start their engines, for the

THE PALIMPSEST

106

American cruisers were, of course, at rest. Almost as one ship the American fleet got into action, the faster warships like the Brooklyn and the Oregon leading the way. Under a vast cloud of smoke from the guns and smokestacks and later from fires on board the ships, the American squadron pursued the fleeing Spanish cruisers westward along the coast, pouring a rain of shot into whichever of the enemy happened to be within striking distance. The Spanish ships were supposed to be faster than those of the United States, but the American sailors were enthusiastic and well prepared while the Spanish crews hoped at best for escape and not for victory. One by one the enemy ships, overwhelmed by the accuracy of the American gunners, turned in toward the shore, hoping at least to give the remnants of their men a chance to escape from the fire and shot-swept wrecks. Nearest the harbor lay the smaller boats, the Pluton and Furor, and west of them were the burning hulks of the Maria Teresa and Oquendo. The Vizcaya not long before an oflicial guest in the harbor of New York and the Colon, which had been protected to some extent by her sister ships, continued their desperate flight along the coast, still hoping to outdistance the slower American battleships and escape. There was no escape. The Vizcaya was soon on fire and American sailors were





enemy from the The Colon continued a little farther

risking their lives to rescue the

burning wreck.

THE IOWA

107

along tlie coast, and then she too yielded to the combined attack of the Oregon, the Brooklyn, and the Texas.

It

was a quarter past

During the entire only one

man

one.

American fleet lost and one seriously wounded.

battle the

killed,

The enemy's loss was estimated at 323 killed, 151 wounded, and about 1800 prisoners. The Iowa, having given the alarm, first attacked the Teresa in which she lodged two 12-inch shells that wrecked the steam pipes of the vessel and killed a number of the crew. Unable to handle the ship or work the guns in the face of the scalding steam and the fires which were soon raging as shell after shell found the target, the crew of the Teresa beached their ship and the loiva for a time turned her guns upon the two destroyers which the converted yacht Gloucester was engaging. The smaller boats were soon put out of commission the Furor was sunk and the Pluton was driven ashore not more than five miles from Santiago. Before long a shell penetrated one of the boilers of the Pluton and a vast geyserlike column of steam rose hundreds of feet in the :

air.

Leaving the wrecked destroyers, the loiva, with some other battleships, concentrated upon the Oquendo and then upon the Vizcaya. When it was apparent that these Spanish ships were doomed, the Indiana was ordered back to the harbor, lest the Alvarado or the Reina Mercedes which had remained in tlie harbor should raid the transports to

THE PALIMPSEST

108

the east; the

Iowa was given permission

to

remain

near the Vizcaya to help in the rescue of the crew; and the other ships went on in pursuit of the Colon. Thus it happened that the Iowa received on board some two hundred and fifty Spanish prisoners from the sinking Vizcaya, inchiding Captain Antonio Eulate. As the Spanish officer was lifted over the side of the Iowa the guard presented arms, the officer of the deck saluted, and the Spanish prisoners already on board stood at attention. Captain Eulate slowly rose to his feet, unbuckled his sword belt with some kissed the difficulty for he had been wounded hilt of his sword, and presented it to Captain Eobley D. Evans, who declined to take the sword, but accepted the surrender and shook hands with the Spanish captain. The crew of the Iowa, stripped to the waist, blackened with powder, and covered with





perspiration, broke into cheers.

As Captain Eulate was being conducted below

for

medical attention, he turned toward his wrecked and burning ship, stretched out his hand in farewell, and exclaimed, '' Adios, Vizcaya". As the words left his lips the magazine of the Vizcaya exploded and there rose a column of smoke and steam which was seen fifteen miles

away.

But the Iowa was to receive a still more distinguished guest that day. Early in the afternoon Admiral Cervera, his son, and a number of other officers were brought on board the Iowa, escorted by

Commander Richard Wainwright

of the Gloucester.

.

^*

THE IOWA

109

The marine guard of eighty men paraded, the offiand crew of the Vizcaya were grouped on the quarter deck, while the crew of the Iowa chistered over the turrets and superstructure. As the Spanish commander stepped upon the deck, the American cers

sailors manifested their admiration for the

bravery

by cheering repeatedly, while Admiral Cervera, scantily clad, bareheaded, and barefooted, just as he had been rescued from the Teresa, stood bowing his thanks. On board the loiva there was nothing to mar the victory. Although she had been in the thick of the fight and had been struck several times by small projectiles and by two 6-inch shells, one of which started a small fire, not a single member of the crew had been killed or even seriously wounded. of the Spaniards

The next twenty years in the career of the Iowa were uneventful: there was the usual routine of cruising, with frequent periods out of commission.

In 1899, when the Iowa delegation met the FiftyIowa Infantry on its return from the Philippine Islands, they attended church services on board the Iowa, then commanded by Captain C. F. Goodrich and anchored in the harbor at San Francisco. A report of the ship for 1901 shows an expenditure of $431,173.53 for maintenance during the year, about half of which was for the pay of officers and men. In 1907, the Iowa was in the squadron assembled off the Virginia coast in honor of the James-

first

THE PALIMPSEST

110

town Exposition, but when the fleet left for its triumphal cruise around the world in December of that year the Iowa was left behind already a new generation had supplanted her. During the next decade the Iowa was on duty only part of the time. In July, 1912, for example, she was :



a warrior turned pedagogue. For several months just preceding the entrance of the United States into the World War, the old loiva was used as a receiving ship, and during the war she was assigned to coast defense. Finally in 1919, a little more than twenty years sent on a cruise with the naval militia

after the victory at Santiago, even the

name ''Iowa"

was erased from the records and the old battleship was designated merely as the "B S 4". About this time, the silver service, the gift of the

Common-

wealth for which the ship had been named, was removed to the Philadelphia navy yard where it still remains. In 1920 the former ''pride of the navy" was used as a target for bombing planes, but suf-J fered comparatively little damage. | chapter in the career of the Iowa was recorded in the Bay of Panama on the twenty-third of March, 1923, almost exactly twenty-seven years

The

final

was launched. The veteran battleship had sailed for the last time down the Delaware River from her birthplace at Philadelphia, she had voyaged southward along the coast, and had passed after the ship

THE IOWA

111

Panama Canal to the waters of the where the spring maneuvers of the united Pacitic, American fleet were to be held. There, surrounded by the new dreadnaughts, the loiva made the supreme sacrifice for the sake of the American navy. Divested of her name, her crew, and her flag, the old warship was sent out under radio control as the target for the guns of the Missisthrough the

sippi, the

new

''queen of the

navy"

— a practical use

for an old ship, perhaps, but unpleasantly suggestive of the treatment accorded aged or injured wolves

the pack.

The

officers of the fleet,

by

the sailors, and a

delegation of civilians, including high

officials

of the

navy and about one hundred Senators and Representatives, were interested spectators. The faithful loiva responded to the control by wireless "as if the ghost of 'Fighting Bob' [Evans] might be on her bridge, and the spirits of those who

manned her stations."

at Santiago standing at their battle

The

sailors on the

surrounding ships

cheered as the shells, fired at a range of from eight to ten miles, found the target; and the officers

watched through their field glasses as the lonely ship dodged and twisted as if conscious of her impending fate. Great water spouts rose where the projectiles struck and dashed over the battered ship.

About four o'clock, when it w^as evident the Iowa could not remain afloat much longer, the Mississippi commenced using regular service shells at short

THE PALIMPSEST

112

At last a shell smashed the Iowa's wireless attachment and the mortally wounded ship heeled over and began to sink. The echoes of the big guns died away. The cheers of the sailors on the watching dreadnoughts were hushed and, as the Io2va turned over and her smokestacks disappeared beneath the blue waters of the Pacific, the band of the Maryland played the Star Spangled Banner very slowly. Fifteen thousand range.

;

men

of the fleet

tary of the

snapped into

Navy and

stood with bared heads.

salute, while the Secre-

the other civilian spectators

The

last bars of the nation-

al anthem sounded across the waters just as the waves closed over the loiva and at that moment the

Mart/land fired the

first of

a salute of twenty-one

honor to the old battleship. ''She was a good ship," said Admiral Hillary Jones, as he wiped his eyes, ''and that was good shooting." guns, the final

Ruth

A. Gallaher

The Winter

of Eighty-One

Imagine winter coming on the fifteenth of October without any warning coming to stay too, and ushered in by a blizzard that lasted two days. Northwestern Iowa has seen much severe weather, but for snow fall and unrelenting cold the winter of 18801881 has had few rivals. A pioneer of O'Brien



County, Thomas Barry, relates the following story of that

memorable winter.

On October threshing,

15, 1880, the

my

morning after we finished

wife and I struck off for Sheldon,

twelve miles away, to get some flour at the mill and The air was frosty, the to do our winter trading.

sun hidden, and the sky looked like a big, gray dome settling down over the prairie. From the near-by cornfields we could hear the thump, thump of the ears against the throw-boards of the buskers' wagons. There being no native timber, we were denied the reds and the golds of woodland October: the brown prairie stretched away in every direction as far as the eye could see. Out in the stubble the prairie chickens called, tumble weeds went hurrying on ahead of us, and rabbits bounded away from the road as we passed. Young cottonwoods, set around the farm yards for windbreaks, had lost their tender leaves, so that the straw-thatched barns and unpainted houses peeped between the naked branches. 113

THE PALIMPSEST

114

"Lots of birds flying to-day," my wife remarked, as we jogged along, planning our day's program. The heavens were filled with Avild ducks and geese flying swiftly southward.

To make haste we shopped separately, and so were not together when the snow began to fall at two o'clock. The air was so warm that we thought the storm was only a squall, and completed our preparations to return home about five. In the meantime the wind had risen. The snow that had already fallen was picked up and driven through the air with our horses refused to face Thinking of the children at home we urged them on, but they would not budge. Not until then did we fully realize that a blizzard was upon us, and that we would be forced to remain in town until it such

terrific force that

the gale.

was

over.

wind moan around the rude hotel The windows rattled in their loose frames

I could hear the all night.

we

''God will care for our children," murmured my wife, while my thoughts strayed also to our unprotected stock, for as yet no one was prepared for winter. The blizzard raged fiercely that night and all the next day, but the second morning dawned calm and clear. Equipped with a large scoopshovel, we began our homeward trip. After leaving the streets of Sheldon, which were somewhat protected by buildings, we hit what we thought ought to be the county line. Our horses, rested and headed toward home. so that

could not sleep.

THE WINTER OF EIGHTY-ONE

115

were anxious enough to get on, but the low, heavy wagon was clumsy in the deep snow. Before we had gone very far the horses floundered and the wagon stuck in a big drift. For a little while I sat there, overcome by the scene surrounding us. Our friendly, brown landscape of two days ago was transformed into a still, cold, sparkling, white pall that stretched to the horizon in every direction.

Cornfields were entirely submerged, straw piles lost their identity

had and become mere mounds of snow,

man-made groves only served I had often seen the covered with snow but the feeling of awe and

while the struggling,

to catch the drifting snow.

prairie

reverence for that spectacle, as I sat there not knowing the fate of all dearest to me, held me spellbound. My wife felt so too, I think, for instead of urging me to begin shoveling out of the drift, she said, ''My,

how much I'd give

for the folks back East to see this

sight."

As we plowed and

shoveled our way on, while the sun rose high and then began to descend, our fear for those at home became more haunting. Fortun-

was not followed by the usual intense cold, but nevertheless our fingers were numb with cold and our backs ached from the shoveling. Our team became more and more exhausted with the heavy pulling and lack of food. Finally, as the sun was sending its last red darts over the white prairie, we came in sight of our place. "We knew it was our home not by any familiar obately, the blizzard

116

THE PALIMPSEST

but by its position from the road. Nothing was to be seen but the tops of our tallest trees. Everything was as still as death, lying under that heavy blanket of snow. In the middle of the yard there was ject,

a drift as high as the house.

was the work of only drift and reach the door.

a few minutes to round that we found the children

Inside

It

all safe,

but crying

bit-

terly because they were sure we must be dead. Our oldest boy, a lad of eleven, had kept the little When the blizzard began he sisters comfortable. of tethers the cattle that were tied in an had cut the open shed, and let them forage with the rest. Under a mound of snow, from which arose a tiny line of about forty in numsteam, we found all our pigs Only two were dead. Chickens and turkeys ber. went under straw stacks and stayed in holes rooted out by the hogs. The day after we got home I walked to a German neighbor's house a mile away to inquire about my calves. He had seen nothing of mine but had lost two cows. ''Don't valk no more, Tom; dey go dead," he said. Another neighbor who came to my house to borrow flour had seen my calves going with the storm, and I finally found them all safe, near a row of young willows, their backs humped up and their heads stuck in the snow. Nearly all my stock was saved, but I had no feed. "What corn we had husked before the blizzard I stored in the loft of my dwelling for seed. My boy and I gathered a little in sacks for the cattle, but the



'

THE WINTER OF EIGHTY-ONE

117

snow kept piling up so high that at last we had to abandon the fields. Then I fed oats. It snowed about twice a week all winter. A mover who was going from 'Brien County into Sioux stopped to feed himself and team. He had husked most of his corn, and had no stock. Since the snow had become so deep, it was difficult for his horses to pull big loads, so in order to make better time he stored some of his corn in my empty crib. As the winter wore on, my oats ran out. Only my seed corn remained and

would not go far. The Save that seed corn, said my wife, feed them the corn from the crib and when the owner comes back give him the pigs, but don't let them starve. I went then and fed another man's corn to my hogs. During that terrible snow-bound winter we had no wood or coal for fuel. But the prairie slew came to our rescue. Early in the fall we had stacked some slew grass in the yard, and this, twisted tightly, served for fuel the entire winter. It required a good deal of time and energy to twist enough prairie hay to keep us warm, even for a day. Children soon learned the art and worked faithfully at the irksome task. It was a common sight to see piles of twisted it

pigs squealed with hunger.

'

'

'

'

'

'

'

grass near the doors of prairie homes.

My children, usually healthy, took

sick in mid-winour home remedies failed I walked seven miles to Hospers with butter and eggs to exchange for medicine we had no

ter with a high fever.

When



118

money. snow.

THE PALIMPSEST I struck off in the morning through the Spurred on by anxiety for the children, I was

utterly exhausted

storekeeper — who

when I reached the store. The was druggist too allowed me



four cents a dozen for the eggs and four cents a pound for the butter. He tried to jolly me, saying that I must be out of tobacco to walk so far, but I told him the symptoms of the sick children, secured some medicine, and started for home just as it was

beginning to snow. For an hour I trudged along. Thicker and thicker came the blinding snow, I could not see. The tall grass which stuck up through the snow was my only guide. The dog that was with me seemed bewildered, following so closely he impeded my progress. I became numb with cold as the flying snow sifted into my clothes. After a time I gave up trying to

landmarks and depended upon the mercy of God to lead me to some shelter. I kept walking and finally, toward morning, struck a grove which fortunately proved to be my own. I threw myself down to rest and became so stiff T was scarcely able to move for three days. The children were a little better, but my wife, who had exhausted her strength caring for them and keeping the house warm during my absence, became ill. Since no one was able to bring in the slew grass, we were forced to carry down our seed corn and burn it. Those of us whose cattle were spared supplied

find

our less fortunate neighbors with milk.

The

milk,

;

THE WINTER OP EIGHTY-ONE

119

frozen solid even in the house, was thawed enough

from the container, then it was wrapped paper and sent where it was needed. Roads were blocked almost all the time. Just as soon as a path was broken, fresh snow and wind would wipe out the trail. Many a morning I was to

remove

it

in cloth or

forced to shovel

my way

out of

my

only time a person ventured from

dwelling.

home was

occasional trip, usually on foot, to the nearest or to a neighbor's to borrow or to lend.

My

The

for an

town

wife



whose father was a railroad surgeon in Massachusetts was very proficient in aiding the sick and she was often called upon to lend a hand in caring for needy neighbors. There was only one social function in the county



that winter so far as I know. Mrs. Bert McMillan, near Sheldon, had a rag bee. Three bob sled loads attended the party, making a long detour to follow a broken trail. About two o 'clock it began snowing the party immediately broke up and the three bobs, keeping in a line, set out for home. They got lost and about ten o'clock came to Whitmore's place, where they spent the night. It was fully a week before some of the party reached home. Toward evening, on fair days, I often rounded the big drift in my yard and reached a clearing to the south; then, facing the east, I would gaze over the soft, white prairie to where the gray sky closed down on our deserted world and wonder what was going on back East. I thought of the anxiety of our ;

THE PALIMPSEST

120

companionship of old friends, and tried to imagine what was occupying the minds of politicians and legislators while we fought for mere existence. How quiet that prairie was: only a slight clicking from the frozen twigs of the cottonwoods broke the stillness. The wind seemed to be resting, regenerat-

kin, the

waiting only for the stimulus of fresh snow, when it would again rage mercilessly and, after lashing us to shelter, would howl and moan while it pelted the snow against our dwellings and ing

its forces,

through every crevice. on our calendar and, like everything else, that winter came to an end. Spring sunshine and spring duties met a hearty welcome. We crept out from our shelter like the badgers on the prairie, shook off our winter coma, greeted distant neighbors, and were thankful we survived. When the snow melted our roofs went in with the weight. The corn which had been left in the fields had become soft and sour neither cattle nor chickens would eat it. When my mover returned for his corn I told him what had been done with it and offered I don 't want any him the pigs. He smiled and said of your hogs, but lend me your breaking plow and forced

it

in

We marked off each day

:

:

'

'

I'll call it

square."

Josephine Babry Donovan

I

Tesson's Apple Orchard

When the first settlers began to filter into southeastern Iowa during the early thirties of the last century, they were struck with

wonder and amaze-

ment on

finding, in the primeval forests skirting the banks of the Mississippi River, evidence of an earlier habitation of the white man. Near the head of the Des Moines Rapids in the Mississippi was an old apple orchard. Already the trees had reached maturity and many of them had fallen into decay some had been toppled over by storms and second growth saplings were springing up about their roots. Whence came these apple trees ? Whose hand had ;

planted and protected them against the encroachments of the more hardy varieties of native timber

with which they were promiscuously intermingled? It was thought improbable that the Indians, owing to their roving and shiftless disposition, had ever

engaged in horticultural pursuits. Evidently some white men must have preceded the early settlers in a futile attempt at colonization and permanent settlement in that locality.

One hundred and thirty years elapsed between the when Louis Joliet with Father Marquette one

time

day

paddled their frail birch-bark canoes out of the mouth of the Wisconsin River onto the bosom of the mighty Mississippi, with a joy that in June, 1673,

121

THE PALIMPSEST

122

they could not express, and the time when the vast, unknown territory west of the Father of Waters came into the possession of theUnited States through the Louisiana Purchase. During this period, while Louisiana was under the rule of Spain, three land grants were

made looking toward

the permanent de-

velopment of small areas within the boundaries of the present State of Iowa. In 1788 a French-Canadian by the name of Julien

Dubuque obtained permission from to

the

Fox Indians

mine lead in the vicinity of the present city of DuFor eight years he worked industriously,

buque.

but realizing that the Indian grant did not fully establish his claim to land in the Spanish domain, he secured a formal confirmation of his mining rights

from the Spanish Governor General

in 1796, togeth-

er with the possession of a piece of territory twenty-

one miles long and nine miles wide along the MissAnother undertaking was that of Basil issippi. Giard, a friend of Dubuque, who about 1796 took possession of and made improvements upon a strip of land a mile and a half wide and extending six miles east and west opposite the village of Prairie

The Spanish Lieutenant Governor Upper Louisiana made a concession of this tract du Chien.

Giard in 1800. probably on the established,

is

Upon

to

Spanish land grant, Indian trading post Giard

this old

site of the

now

of

located the town of McGregor.

The third venture in the ownership of Iowa land was hazarded by Louis Honore Tesson, the son of a

TESSON'S APPLE ORCHARD

[

French-Canadian so

many

who

123

Like of his race, Tesson seems to have responded tailor

to the lure of the wild.

lived in St. Louis.

He voyaged up and down

the

and made the acquaintance of other hardy adventurers engaged in the same occupation. Perhaps he knew Dubuque and Giard, and learned of land grants from them. In the course of his travels, Tesson probably spent some time at the large Sac Indian village at the head of the Des Moines Rapids on the Iowa side. Here he seems to have made friends among the Indians for if they did not prevail upon him to come and establish a trading post near by, they at least were not hostile to the project. This site, situated on a beautiful level terrace of second bottom land, fertile and picturesque, probably appealed to Tesson. A high prominence at the rear afforded a magnificent view of the river for miles in either direction, while below was an excelBeing about midway belent landing for boats. tween the Spanish mines (Dubuque) and the seat of government at St. Louis, the place gave abundant Mississippi, traded with the Indians,

promise of being a splendid location for a trading post, both from the standpoint of the Indians and those who plied the river. Moreover, the position at the head of the rapids was strategic as the beginning or end of a long portage. With these considerations in mind, Tesson approached the Spanish government where his proposal to establish a trading post was favorably received.

124

THE PALIMPSEST

In the past, Spanish traders had not been particularly successful in competition with the British, and it may have been for this reason that the officials at St, Louis were willing to foster any enterprise that gave promise of promoting the interests of Spain in the New World. On March 30, 1799, Louis Honore Tesson received permission from Zenon Trudeau, Lieutenant Governor of the province of Upper Louisiana, to make a settlement upon 7056 arpents of land. According to the terms of this permit, Mr. Louis Honore [Tesson] is permitted to settle" at the head of the Des Moines Bapids, ''and having effected his establishment he will write to the Governor General to obtain the concession of a suitable area in order to validate said establishment, and at the same time to make him useful in the trade in peltries in that country, to watch the savages and to keep them in the fealty which they owe His Majesty." He was also placed under obligations to plant trees and sow seeds, to instruct the Indians in the art of agriculture, and to spread the tenets of the Catholic faith. His conduct in these respects was to ''serve him as. a recommendation to be favored by the Government in such a way as to let him have the benefit of whatever he may do to contribute to the increase of the commerce in which he is to participate". In order to secure a clear title to his land through confirmation by the Governor General, Tesson set about fulfilling the terms of the grant. Having pur'

'

TESSON'S APPLE ORCHARD

125

chased some supplies in St. Louis, largely on credit, and obtained about a hundred seedling apple trees of several varieties at St. Charles, he proceeded on his northward journey, transporting the small apple trees, it is said, on pack mules. His family may have accompanied him upon this trip, for it is recorded that he married Theresa Creely in 1788 and that a son bearing the name of Louis Honore was born in St.

Louis about 1790.

Sometime

in the

summer

of 1799 Tesson reached

There he erected buildsome fences, cultivated a small patch, and

the site of his land grant. ings, built

planted his apple trees. For a number of years he lived at the head of the rapids, fraternizing with the Indians, and trading in liquor, pelts,

and baubles.

Life on the very out-

was probably not altogether Dubuque, Giard, and other itinerant

skirts of civilization

monotonous.

traders must have stopped on their

way

to St. Louis.

There was plenty of excitement when the ice went out of the river, when the flood waters rose, and when the Indians went on the warpath. Living was easy. The river teemed with delectable fish, while

game was abundant.

Quail, prairie chickens, tur-

were commonplace. Wild strawberthe and grapes varied the menu blackberries, ries, apple trees were probably too young to bear. All of the circumstances pertaining to Tesson 's undertaking were not so rosy. He seems to have been lacking in tact and general business ability. At

keys, and deer



126

THE PALIMPSEST

events he incurred the enmity of some of the Indians and was no match for the shrewd British traders. His trading operations failed, and he fell all

deeper and deeper into debt at St. Louis. After four years of patience and forbearance on the part of his creditors, all of his property was attached. According to Spanish law and upon the authority of an order from the Lieutenant Governor of Upper Louisiana, P. A. Tablaux, acting as attorney for

Joseph Robidoux, appeared unexpectedly before the door of Tesson's house on March 27, 1803, and there, accompanied by two witnesses and in the presence of Tesson, seized the property and gave notice that it would be sold in public at the door of the parish church in St. Louis for the benefit of the creditors. The auction occurred in customary form at ''the conclusion of high mass, the people coming out in great number, after due notice given by the public crier of the town in a high and intelligible voice, on three successive Sundays, May 1, 8, 15, 1803". On the first

Sunday only "twenty-five

dollars

was

bid;

on the second, thirty dollars on the third, the last adjudication, one hundred dollars and subsequently, one hundred and fifty dollars by Joseph Robidoux", Tesson's chief creditor. This offer was ''repeated until twelve o'clock at noon; and the public retiring, the said Robidoux demanded a deed of his bid. It was cried at one o 'clock, at two o 'clock, and at three o'clock, and no other persons presenting themselves, the said land and appurtenances were adjudged to ;

;

'

"

TESSON'S APPLE ORCHARD

127

him for the mentioned price of one hundred and fifty dollars, and having to receive this sum himself, he gave no security. Eobidoux, finding himself possessed of property for which he had no immediate need, permitted Tesson to remain on the tract for some time thereafter. It is not known whether Tesson was finally ejected from the land, or whether he left of his own accord. He was still in the vicinity in 1805 when Lieutenant Zebulon M. Pike explored the Mississippi Kiver from Pike began the ascent of St. Louis to its source. the Des Moines Rapids in the Mississippi on the morning of August 20th. After passing the first shoal, they met Mr. Ewing who had come to assist in negotiating the rapids. He was accompanied by ''a French interpreter, four chiefs and 15 men of the Sac nation, in their canoes, bearing a flag of the United States," The interpreter. Lieutenant Pike explained, was ''Monsieur Louis Tisson", who had "calculated on going with me as my interpreter", and who ''appeared much disappointed when I told him I had no instructions to that effect." He also promised to discover mines, "which no person knew but himself but, as I conceive him much of a hypocrite, and possessing great gasconism, I am happy he was not chosen for my voyage. On the death of Joseph Eobidoux in 1809, the Tesson land, including all buildings and appurtenances thereto, was acquired by Thomas F. Riddick at an auction held on April 9, 1810. Riddick paid sixty'

;

THE PALIMPSEST

128



the highest and last Nearly thirty years later the legality of this transaction was confirmed and Tesson's title acquired in 1799 was established by the United States government when a land patent was issued covering six hundred and forty acres of the tract. This was the first patent to Iowa land and established a title the oldest in the record that dates back to 1799

three dollars for the property

bid.



State.

From the time when the property passed into the hands of Kiddick in 1810, the thread of the story is lost until eleven years later, when Isaac E. Campbell explored the southern portion of the Iowa country and later mentioned in his memoirs that at that date Chief Cut Nose lived in a village at the head of the Des Moines Eapids, near the site of the old establishment of Louis Tesson. ''Below the creek run-

ning into the river, he writes, on the lower side of the Indian town, were the remains of a deserted trading house, around which was growing a number of apple trees." Tesson himself had dropped from sight altogether. At what time he forsook the environs of his hapless undertaking, where he went, '

'

'

and where he died are unknown facts. P. Cruikshank says that his father, Alexander

what he J.

'

did,

Cruikshank, visited the old orchard in the summer of 1832. At that time about fifteen trees were bearing, though the fruit was of a very inferior quality. That the apples should be poor was not surprising, as it was obvious that the trees had been neglected for

many, many years.

'

TESSON'S APPLE ORCHARD

129

In the year 1834 the original Fort Des Moines was established by the United States government on the Tesson grant. The buildings of the fort were immediately adjacent to and north of the old apple orchard. At that time there were ''many traces of a former settlement around the camp, the most prominent of which was the old orchard of apple-trees a short distance below. The orchard at that time contained some ten or fifteen trees in bearing condition. The fruit was very ordinary, being a common seedling. The Indians were in the habit of visiting the orchard, and gathering the fruit in its green state so that none of it ever matured. There were also "remains of dirt, or adobe, chimneys visible in the same locality which goes to prove that a settlement had existed there at some former period." i During the three years that the old fort was maintained, a number of men illustrious in the history of Iowa and the nation were there. The three companies of United States Dragoons, which constituted the garrison, were commanded by Stephen "W. Kearny, famous western explorer. Albert M. Lea, in command of one of the companies that made a thousand-mile march across the prairies of Iowa and Minnesota in 1835, published the first popular description of the Iowa country. Zachary Taylor and Jefferson Davis were stationed at Fort Crawford at the time Fort Des Moines was established and may have visited the dragoons down the river. In 1837 Lieutenant Robert E. Lee, for whom Lee '

;

THE PALIMPSEST

130

County

is

said to have been named,

War Department

was sent by the

survey the Des Moines Rapids of the Mississippi for the purpose of making recommendations toward the improvement of the navito

gation of the river.

During the same year, 1837, when Fort Des Moines was abandoned, the town of Montrose was laid out by D. W. Kilbourne on the site of the old apple orchard. Unfortunately for Kilbourne, however, he failed to secure a perfect title to the land

before beginning his operations, and the heirs of

Thomas session.

F. Riddick brought suit against

him for pos-

During the trial Kilbourne attempted to and his activities altogether, bring-

discredit Tesson

ing as a witness.

Red

Bird,

who claimed

that he him-

self had planted the apple trees and that Tesson was

an impostor and a " che-wal-is-ki " (a rascal), who had never bought an acre of land. Red Bird's story was in part substantiated by Black Hawk but the court upheld the Tesson title to the land, giving the Riddick heirs possession. The case eventually found its way to the Supreme Court of the United States which affirmed the decisions of the lower courts. As the town of Montrose developed, the Riddick heirs disposed of their inheritance to various people.

The

old orchard site at last came into the possession George B. Dennison who, in 1874, conveyed the plot to the town of Montrose, to be held in trust for the Old Settlers Association. The intention at that time was to erect an ornamental iron fence around of

'

—©

2.r'

V

4 //.-^/^ "T

:

afz-r.

^Ji/-

S

«?

i

i

TESSON'S APPLE ORCHARD the premises

131

and otherwise improve the appearance

of the grounds, but these well-meant plans did not

materialize,

and only spasmodic

efforts

have since

been made. None of the trees survive. The last one, according to the memory of the older residents of Montrose, died or disappeared nearly half a century ago.

Cruikshank earnestly endeavored to rally sufficient interest to save the old orchard site from inundation by Lake Cooper, soon to be created by the completion of the Keokuk dam. It was impossible to inspire sufficient enthusiasm in the project, however, and during the second week of June, 1913, when the flood gates of the great dam were closed, the bleak, swirling waters of the Mississippi were transformed into a placid lake which slowly enveloped the greater portion of the historic spot. In 1912

J. P.

Ben Hue Wilson

Comment by the

Editor

HISTOKICAL MEMOIRS

The

more

facts of local history are usually

elusive

than the circumstances of great events. Episodes of general interest have obvious effects, leave definite records, and serve as subjects of written description or comment while the affairs of every-day life leave ;

little

evidence

specific

for

historian.

the

Most

people attach no significance to the daily routine, yet the common customs, foibles, and fancies are the substance of the times. Not once in a generation does a Samuel Pepys record his rising betimes, his very merry dining out, the purchase of a new ''coat of the fashion" which pleased him well, his stint at "and so early to bed, to-morrow being the office



washing day." In a new, sparsely inhabited country historical materials are apt to be scarce. Pioneers have little time or inclination to keep diaries. There are few or

no newspapers

to chronicle events

;

letters written to

friends are usually lost or inaccessible

;

while public

records are confined to a few subjects such as office holding, taxes, and the ownership of land. For these reasons the memory of the people who have seen

and heard

is

often the only source for the facts of

local history. 132

]

COMMENT BY THE EDITOR

133

Reminiscences are sometimes unreliable; but inaccuracy is not an inherent characteristic of personal memoirs. Recollections can usually be verified, and they have the additional merit of vividness and first-hand information. It was a simple task, for example, to find in the weather reports that the winter of 1880-1881 was unusually severe, that the snow fall was very heavy, and that the velocity of the wind was sixty miles an hour on October 16th the day of the blizzard in northwestern loAva.



PROBABILITY OF TRUTH IN TRADITION

There

is

danger of placing too much faith in

reminiscence, especially of personal observation tradition.

departs from the field and invades the realm of

if it

Take an account of the disposal of Louis

Tesson's old Spanish land grant in 1803. It has been alleged that the transaction was conducted in strict observance of the ancient Civil Law of Rome that a twig of a tree and a clod of the earth were actually passed from the hand of the owner to the garment of the purchaser, who held up the corner of



his cloak to receive the evidences of his

new

posses-

No

one can positively prove that such a performance did not occur, yet no evidence can be found sions.

to substantiate the tale.

The

tradition

is

possible,

but highly improbable.

Some

which have not been completely confirmed, are not only within the range of possibility but are probable as well. The conclustories of early days,

'

THE PALIMPSEST

134

sion that Tesson set out the old apple orchard which

name is based almost entirely on probacan not be asserted beyond the shadow of a doubt that he actually planted the trees which were later found upon his land. No record of that fact has yet been found. There are at least three other possible explanations of the origin of the old orchard, none of which, however, are as plausible as the Tesson version. It is conceivable that the Indians set out the trees but that is incompatible with Indian character. William bears his

It

bility.

;

Ewing, who was stationed across the river by the United States government as an Indian sub-agent, may have been responsible, for one of his duties was to teach the arts of agriculture to the Indians

who

lived at the

head of the Des Moines Kapids on the

Iowa

of

side

the

Mississippi.

In 1806 Nicolas

was appointed Indian agent with headquarters at this same Sac village. He also was ordered to teach agriculture to the Indians by precept and example. You should early procure Garden seeds, peach and other fruit stones, and apple seeds", advised the Secretary of War. "A Garden should be established for the most useful vegetables, and Boilvin

'

'

nurseries planted with fruit trees



I

for the purpose

;

j

most useful seeds and trees

;

of the Chiefs as will take care to culti-

|

of distributing the

among such vate them.

'

It is unlikely that either

i

Ewing

or Boilvin would

have located the orchard on the only piece of

pri-

COMMENT BY THE EDITOR vately

owned land

in the vicinity.

And

135 so, in

the

absence of positive proof to the contrary, the most probable explanation may still be accepted and the credit for the first horticultural endeavor in

may

still

Iowa

be ascribed to Louis Tesson.

WHO WAS If events are

sometimes

TESSOlSr

difficult to ascertain,

how

frequently are the names and identity of lost to subsequent generations. Rare indeed people is the man who can name his eight great grand-

much more

parents.

Of the millions who have

only a few are

Who was

known

lived

and died

to the world.

Louis Honore Tesson, whose surways and appears as For a few years Tesson? often as almost as Honore he came upon the stage of Iowa history as a conspicuous land owner, associated with merchants and No one public officials, and then made his exit. cared whence he came, and no one knows where he went. He was only a minor actor in one of the scenes of the tremendous drama of the Great Valley. Elliott Coues says that three Tessons lived in the Mississippi Valley in 1805. ''Louis Tesson Honore 1st, b. Canada, 1734, d. St. Louis, 1807, aged 73;

name

is

this

spelled in various

married Magdalena Peterson, b. 1739, d. St. Louis, 1812. The family came to St. Louis from Kaskaskia. Among 8 children was Louis Tesson Honore 2d, eldest son; he married (1) Marie Duchouquette, (2) Theresa Creely, in 1788 by the latter he had Louis

— ;

'

136

THE PALIMPSEST

Tesson Honore 3d,

b. St.

Amarantbe Dumoulin

;

d.

Louis about 1790; married there Aug.

20tli,

1827.

'

Since the days of Pike and the fur traders, the Tessons have passed into the obscurity of conunonalty

whence they came.

The

later history of

affords only occasional glimpses of

Iowa

men bearing

the

name of Tesson, and there is no assurance that they are related to the OAvner of the old Spanish land grant in Lee County. AVhen the Indians ceded the Half-breed Tract to the United States in 1824, a Louis Tesson witnessed the signing of the treaty. The names of Michael, Francis, and Edward Tesson appear in subsequent records of the Half-breed Tract. For many years a Joseph Tesson, born in Iowa in 1841 of part French parentage, resided with the Meslru^aki Indians near

Tama and served in the capacity of tribal interpreter. No doubt there are others, and hither and yon the descendants of Louis Tesson are living to-day though perchance they have never heard of their forefather who lived in Iowa under the reign of King Charles IV of Spain. J.

E. B.

MAY

1923^

0>lH^BNtS ^

;_--'"%

s

The

Firdt JiJ^^C FieldyiJay

Xjie

CapUfJ onrWlji^s

151

Cbmh^t

170 The Editor

-' ,-

;;

Published Monthly At lowAQnr By

-IHE State HKioMCAf SoaErvoFiowA ?5SSSe5^S5^S^^^Sg^^aB!^^!^3^^^^^5?5^ ENTERED AS SECOND CLASS MATTER JULY 2e 1920 AT THE POST OFFICE AT IOWA UNDER THE ACT OF AUSUST 24 1912

CITT

IOWA

THE PURPOSE OF THIS MAGAZINE The Palimpsest,

issued monthly by the State His-

devoted to the disseminaSupplementing the other publications of this Society, it aims to present the materials of Iowa History in a form that is attractive and a style to the end that the that is popular in the best sense story of our Commonwealth may be more widely read and cherished.

torical Society of Iowa, is

tion of

Iowa History.



Benj. F.

Shambaugh Superintendent

THE MEANING OF PALIMPSESTS were parchments or other materials from which one or more writings had been erased to give room for later records. But the erasures were not always complete; and so it became the In early times palimpsests

fascinating task of scholars not only to translate the later records but also to reconstruct the original writ-

ings

by deciphering the dim fragments of

erased and partly covered by subsequent

The

history of

Iowa may be likened

which holds the records

letters partly texts.

to a palimpsest

of successive generations.

To

decipher these records of the past, reconstruct them, and tell the stories which they contain is the task of those

who

PRICE— lOc

write history.

per copy: $1 per year: free to

ADDRESS— The

members

of Society

State Historical Society Iowa City Iowa

The Palimpsest EDITED BY JOHN ELY BRIGGS VOL. IV

ISSUED

IN

May 1923

No. 5

COPYRIOHT 1923 BY THE STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF IOWA

The At

First

Iowa Field Day

year college athletes in Iowa jumping, pole vaulting, throwing the discus, hurling the javelin, and putting the shot, but thirty-three years ago track and field meets were practically unknown. John V. Crum, who first taught the East that natives of Iowa were as fleet-footed as any in the tidewater region, did not enter the University until the autumn of 1890. To be sure, track athletics had been introduced in some Iowa colleges by professors from eastern institutions, but not until late in the eighties was there any general interest in racing, jumping, and weight throwing. The first Iowa ''field day" occurred in June, 1890 the direct forerunner of the present Annual Track and Field Meet of the Iowa Collegiate are

this time of the

sprinting,

hurdling,



Athletic Association.

The beginning

and field athletics at the Iowa was repeated, doubtless,

of track

State University of

137

THE PALIMPSEST

138

mth

different characters

and different settings

at

Hawkeye colleges. Some of the circumstances connected with the first field meet at the University, however, were unique and still cause a chuckle when recalled by those who witnessed the event. In the autumn of 1889 William P. Slattery and his cousin, other

Jeremiah Slattery, Irish lads from Dublin and nephews of Archbishop John Hennessy of Dubuque, entered the College of Medicine at Iowa City. They had been students for two years at Blackrock College, Dublin, where they had participated in track and field sports and had acquired considerable skill

was not long before they bethe University and awakened much

in several events.

came popular interest

at

It

and enthusiasm

in athletics as they recount-

ed their experiences at Blackrock and told of the "contists for pints" in which they had engaged. During the winter of 1889-1890 the desire for a State athletic association which would bring to-

gether

all

of the best athletes in

Iowa

colleges at a

State meet in the spring began to assume definite

form.

The Slatterys were eloquent

of the project.

in their support

Accordingly, in February, 1890, en-

thusiastic students of the University elected Robert

Bonson, F. G. Pierce, and T. P. Findley to represent them in a meeting at IMt. Pleasant where the details of the proposed association were to be agreed upon by representatives of the various Iowa colleges. Fourteen schools were represented and the organization Avas perfected. A name, the Inter-Collegiate

THE FIRST IOWA FIELD DAY

139

(I. C. A. A.), was chosen, a conwas adopted, and Grinnell was selected as the place to hold the first State field meet sometime during the following June. B. L, Osgood of Iowa Wesleyan was elected president F. G. Pierce of the State University, vice-president and C. W. Gorham of Cornell, secretary and treasurer while the executive committee was composed of A. C. Savage of Iowa College (Grinnell), T. P. Findley of the University, and C. W. Gorham of Cornell. It became

Athletic Association stitution

;

;

;

the duty of this committee to arrange the program,

buy medals for the winners, to fix the exact date and to levy a tax on the members of the association to pay necessary expenses. to

for the meet,

News ciation

of the organization of the State athletic asso-

awakened new enthusiasm

of Iowa.

As soon

at the University

as the weather permitted,

mem-

bers of the local athletic association began intensive training to compete with the athletes of the other colleges of the State.

how how to

to their associates to

put the shot,

The two Slatterys explained to start in the sprints,

pole vault, and

how

how

to high

approved fashion of the day. One memnow a prominent lawyer, said, **The Slatterys told us what to do and how to do it. They showed us the first pair of running shoes we ever saw, and back of the Old Capitol they led us in our workouts." To arouse still more interest in athletics, a mass meeting was held in the chapel room one afternoon

jump

in the

ber of the squad,

:

THE PALIMPSEST

140

which President Charles A. Schaeffer called upon several professors to speak who, according to a local reporter, showed an unusual knowledge of athletics in general and ofin April at

presided.

fered

many

He

valuable pointers to the

members

of the

Plans developed for a local field day in May the first event of its kind at the State University of Iowa. This contest, it was thought, would serve a two-fold purpose it would stimulate greater association.



:

interest in athletics at

an opportunity

Iowa

to select a

City,

team

and

it

would

offer

to represent the

University at the State meet in June. Saturday, May 10, 1890, was selected as the date for the local meet. Approximately twenty-five men began daily practice, some of them at Englert's Ball Park near the present location of Iowa Field, others at the fair-grounds east of the city, and a few back of the Old Capitol on the campus. The college newspaper. The Vidette-Reporter was moved to remark With such an interest we cannot fail to do a grand work, in which we have the hearty endorsement of the Faculty and Board of Regents." The sporting editor announced that athletes *'must now refrain from eating ice cream. Too bad, ladies." Nor did he hesitate to assume the role of trainer and to pubEat lish the following advice: ''To The Athlete: rare meat, eggs and graham bread. Little tea, no coffee, no milk, no hot bread, rice or pastry. Fruit Drink no water between meals use is not hurtful. lemon juice to quench thirst." ,

*

'

— ;

THE FIRST IOWA FIELD DAY

141

Preparations to make the first field day at S. U. I. Business men of Iowa City donated money to purchase silver medals for the winner of first place in each event, and a local clothing store offered a fine silk umbrella as a speAn all-day procial prize for the field champion. gram was planned, with tennis matches beginning at nine o'clock in the forenoon, while in the afternoon there were to be twenty-two field and track events. The meet was to be held at Englert's Ball Park, a triangular field enclosed by high board fences on two sides and bounded by the Iowa Eiver on the third. Twenty-five cents admitted the spectator to the entire program, while an admission price of thirty cents carried with it the privilege of sitting in the little grand stand. Miss Elizabeth Schaeffer, the daughter of the President of the University, a handsome young lady who was extremely popular with the student body, was selected to award the medals and to distribute the prizes at the close of the meet. A cold rain the night before the gala day caused much anxious observation of weather conditions, but Saturday morning. May 10th, dawned clear and cool, and the local reporter declared that the hearts of the athletes ''were made exceeding glad." The tennis contests of the forenoon drew only a fair-sized crowd, but in the afternoon the little grand stand was filled and a large number of students and townspeople lined the side of the park. Loud cheers greeted the athletes as they marched onto the field. a gala event continued.

THE PALIMPSEST

142

contestants except the two Slatterys beremove their collars and ties and to roll up their sleeves and trousers, but each of the Irish lads threw aside the blanket in which he was wrapped and stood forth arrayed in a regulation track suit. The ladies present gasped in shocked surprise. A four-page program had been placed in the hands of the spectators. The front page proclaimed the ''First Annual Field Day of the State Univeesity OF Iowa Athletic Association" while below was

All of

gan

tlie

to

printed a

names

of

list

of the officers of the association, the

the field

day committee,

field

officers,

judges, starter, time keepers, measurers, and scor-

On the two

ers.

inside pages

were

listed the twenty-

names of the entrants in each. A space was provided where the spectator might write the name of the winner of first and second place and the record made in each event. The following infortwo events and the

mation also appeared at the bottom of the third page ''The winner in each single event gets 2 points, the 2d man a point. The man scoring the greatest number of points will be declared field champion." Lieutenant Gr. W. Read, head of the military department and during the World War a major general commanding the Second Army Corps in France, was master of ceremonies. The first event was a race between the classes of 1890, 1891, 1892, and 1893. Judges and starters took their stations and the meet began. Amid loud applause from the :

seniors

the

representative

of

the class

of

1890

THE FIRST IOWA FIELD DAY

143

breasted the tape, followed by the runner for the class of 1893. The time was 12^/2 seconds.

Enthusiasm reigned. Throughout the afternoon the contestants were heartily cheered, and time after time the field echoed with the yell: "Hi! Hi! Hi! S. U. I.! Giddy, giddy, uni, S. U. I.!" The two Slatterys entered nearly every event and each succeeded in winning a large number of points. Jerry won the football kick by booting the pigskin a distance of 167 feet, he cleared the bar in the pole vault at the height of 7 feet and 7 inches which was high

enough

to win, took first place in the

jump with a leap the hop, step, and

of 19 feet

and

3%

running broad and won

inches,

jump with a record

of 38 feet

and

8 inches. Moreover, he placed second in the fifty yard dash, the one hundred yard dash, the two hundred and twenty yard "run", the standing high jump, and the hammer throw. Meanwhile, his cousin William won the four hundred and forty yard race in 68 seconds, an event which the reporter described as "the prettiest and closest race of the afternoon and elicited prolonged applause and toots." He also made a running high jump of 61 inches and ran the one hundred and twenty yard hurdle race in 221/5 seconds winning both events. Second place in the running broad jump gave him a total of seven points while his cousin, Jerry, with a total of thirteen points was the undisputed cham-



pion of the day.

Robert Bonson threw the baseball 284 feet and 6

THE PALIMPSEST

144

inches. T. P. Findley won first place in the fifty yard dash, the one hundred yard dash, and the two hundred and twenty yard run. F. A. Hastings made a standing broad jump of 11 feet and S^/i inches and a standing high jump of 51 inches. G. H. Clark put the sixteen pound shot 35 feet and 9 inches, and J. H. Lack of time Stotts threw the hammer 102 feet.

made

necessary to omit the three-legged race, the and the tug of war, but the boxing exhibition between E. E. Lewis and James Mara afforded much amusement and received loud applause. Lewis it

flag race,

won

the decision.

Late in the afternoon the winners of first and second places lined up to pass before Miss Schaeffer to receive their medals. Jerry Slattery, the field champion, headed the procession, and an eye-witness testified that, as the young Irishman in his track stepped before the young lady to receive the silk umbrella and the medals he had won, the peaches and cream complexion of the donor changed to flaming scarlet. Although no wonderful records were made that suit

afternoon, the marks established were none the less

commendable

view of the fact that the young fellows who participated were for the most part untrained in track work. Probably the creation of a in

genuine interest in this form of athletics was the most noteworthy result of the first field day at the State University of Iowa.

During the following weeks attention was focused

THE FIRST IOWA FIELD DAY

145

upon the State meet. The News Letter of Grinnell, which had been the official mouthpiece of the I. C. A. A., urged the attendance of large delegations from other colleges, and the promise that ice cream and strawberries would be served to all visitors was regarded as an additional inducement. Students at the University petitioned the faculty for a holiday

and the request was granted. Strenuous workouts Iowa squad into a well balanced team. The Slatterys argued long and ardently on the propriety of the entire team wearing track suits at the meet, and finally won their point. On the morning of June 6, 1890, the Iowa team of nearly twenty members, accompanied by a beribboned delegation of one hundred and seventy-five rooters, boarded the train bound for Grinnell to witness the First Annual Field Day of the Inter-Collegiate Athletic Association. The University crowd was the largest delegation from anywhere outside of Grinnell, and the News Letter acknowledged that it "had more lung power than all the other colleges daily helped to develop the

put together."

An all-day program had been arranged, the tennis matches beginning at ten o'clock in the morning on the campus, the field and track events starting at two in the afternoon at the fair-grounds, and in the evening there was to be boxing, saber swinging, and fencing at the opera house. For officials the executive committee had selected C. W. Gorham of Cornell, chief marshal of the day; A. C. Savage of

TPIE

146

PALIMPSEST

day superintendent; T. P. Findley of the University, evening superintendent Professor A. K. Jones of Cedar Rapids, referee; Lieutenant G. W. Read of the University, caller; Ed. Svoboda of Cedar Rapids, starter and Robert Bonson of the University, E. A. Marsh of Grinnell, and C. A. Torrey Grinnell,

;

;

of Cornell, timers.

Cornell

won

the tennis doubles and Grinnell the

singles for men, but Miss Nellie

tennis singles for S.

U.

women and

Cox captured the

thereby

won

a

first

for

I.

in the afternoon a large crowd invaded the fair-grounds before the committee had provided for

Early

the collection of admission.

As one

reporter put

it,

the Association lost several dollars through this

''soupy" oversight. Probably the most hotly contested race of the afternoon was the half mile run. C. P. Chase of Iowa led almost the entire distance only to see J.

McUrath

win by a spectacular spurt at In the pole vault J. F. Reed of Grinnell and Jerry Slattery of Iowa were tied at 8 feet and of Grinnell

the finish.

11 inches.

11%

Reed then cleared the bar

at 8 feet

and

inches but Slattery in attempting 9 feet fell and

broke his hand. In the hurdle race W. P. Slattery breasted the tape "in the remarkable time of 18% seconds", but J. F. Reed of Grinnell was declared victor because "Slattery had touched a hurdle." T. P. Findley of Iowa won the fifty yard dash, the seventy-five yard dash, and the one hundred yard

;

THE FIRST IOWA FIELD DAY

147

dash in thrilling fashion, and carried off the gold medal offered by the News Letter to the individual champion.

The three-legged race, run for Iowa by T. P. Findand W. P. Slattery and for Grinnell by W. J. Barrette and W. R. Davis, was close, but owing to ley

faults on both sides the judges ordered

it

to be

run

This Barrette and Davis refused to do and the race was forfeited to Iowa. On the other hand the Iowa tug of war team failed to materialize and again.

this event

was

forfeited to Grinnell.

At the

close of

the afternoon Iowa led Grinnell, the closest competitor, by a few points.

SUMMAEY

OF EvENTS

— —

W. Zmunt (Ames), first; R. BonBaseball throw son (Iowa), second. Distance, 362 feet, 9 inches. T. P. Findley (Iowa), first; C. C. Fifty yard dash Langley (Cornell), second. Time, 5% seconds.

— Slattery (Iowa), No second place. — Running broad jump W. P. Slattery (Iowa), Football place kick

first.

J.

Dis-

tance, 187 feet, 2 inches.

C. E.

Locke (Cornell), second.

101/2 inches.

Sixteen pound shot put R.

S.

5%

Ure

inches.

Distance, 20 feet,

— G. H. Clark (Iowa),

(Grinnell), second.



first

first;

Distance, 33 feet,

T. P. Findley (Iowa), One hundred yard dash first; C. W. McEldery (Iowa Wesleyan), second.

Time,

10%

seconds.

THE PALIMPSEST

148



E. Woodbury (Grinnell), first; C. Hitch and kick Height, 8 feet, 2 Cathcart (Cornell), second. inches.

Eunning high jump



J.

Height, 5 feet, 3 inches.

Slattery

No

(Iowa),

second place.

first.



One hundred and twenty yard hurdle (10 flights) J. F. Reed (Grinnell), first; C. C. Langley (Cornell), second. No time recorded. Hammer throw — W. D. Bailey (Grinnell), J.

5%

H. Stotts (Iowa), second. inches.

Seventy-five yard dash first; C.

Boardman

— T.

P.

first;

Distance, 76 feet,

Findley (Iowa), Time, 7%

(Cornell), second.

seconds.



J. F. Reed (Grinnell), first; J. SlatPole vault tery (Iowa), second. Height, 8 feet, liy2 inches. Standing broad jump G. P. Ruggles (Upper Iowa), first; F. A. Hastings (Iowa), second. Dis-



tance, 12 feet, 2y2 inches.

Two hundred and twenty yard run

— C. W.

McEl-

(Iowa Wesleyan), first; A. M. Cowden (Grinnell), second. Time, 23i/4 seconds. Half mile run J. Mcllrath (Grinnell), first; C. P. Chase (Iowa), second. Time, 2 minutes, 16% dery



seconds.

— Awarded to Grinnell. Three-legged race — Awarded to Iowa. Tug

of

war

The evening program

at the

opera house was well

patronized, but a poor stage placed the contestants

THE FIRST IOWA FIELD DAY at a disadvantage.

149

The Cornell heavyweight deJames Mara,

cided not to box and so E. R. Lewis and

both of Iowa, sparred three rounds, the former winning the medal. F. G. Pierce of Iowa and Cobb of Cornell competed in a middleweight boxing match which Cobb won on points, twenty-four to twentyone. Arthur Grorrell of Iowa favored the audience with an exhibition of saber swinging, while Julius Lischer of Iowa and C. D. Premier of Cornell engaged in an exhibition of fencing which was won by

The successes of the evening, added to those of the forenoon and afternoon, made the State University of Iowa clearly the winner of the first I. C. A. A, Field Day. The rooters from Iowa City Lischer.

were delirious with happiness. After the evening program at the opera house the were entertained at a reception tendered by the Grinnell students in the chapel. An orchestra furnished music, a male quartette sang several songs, and after the refreshments of strawberries and ice cream had banished any hard feelings that may have lingered from the stiff competition of the day, the remainder of the time was spent visiting delegations

in convivial good-fellowship.

Nearly thirty-three years have elapsed since the State meet of the Inter-Collegiate Athletic Association. All of the records established in 1890 have been broken, but even so the time made by Findley in the dashes and the distance of the broad jump compare favorably with the performances in first

THE PALIMPSEST

150

those events to-day. No football kick or baseball throw, no hitch and kick or hop, step, and jump appear on the program nowadays, and it is no longer

customary to serve the visiting athletes with strawand ice cream. Other events, unknown to field and track stars, have appeared. pioneer the The javelin throw, the discus throw, the mile and the two mile runs, and the relay races have replaced the three-legged race and the tug of war. berries

Many annual tion

day

in their

among

men who

of the

field

their

of the

I.

participated in the

C. A. A.

have won

chosen professions.

They

number lawyers, judges,

first

distinc-

include

doctors,

and

educators of national reputation. Jerry Slattery, the hero of the first meet in Iowa City and spectacular performer at Grinnell, became a surgeon in Chicago. At the beginning of the Boer War, he en-

regiment of Irish volunteers and was killed in action in South Africa, fighting his traditional enemy, the British, with the same dash that had made him a favorite on the cinder path. listed in a

To the athletes from the colleges of Iowa who struggled for mastery on field and track at Grinnell in 1890 belongs the credit for inaugurating one of the most important institutions in the athletic his-

tory of Iowa.

tomorrow

is

The annual State meet of to-day and monument. Bruce E. Mahan

their

The American

Capital on Wheels

seats of govermnent, unlike the capitals

of older countries, have always been migratory. Unusual circumstances such as the rapid expansion

of the public domain, the constantly shifting population,

and the democratic demand for centrally

located political centers have been accountable for the

instability

of

sites. There are few West, whose capitals remain

capital

States, especially in the

where they were first established, while ''countyseat contests" form a prominent and ever-present

Nor has the national capbeen an exception to the rule. Within fifteen years during the formative period of the nation the seat of the national government was changed twelve chapter of local history. ital

times before

it

was

finally established

at

Wash-

ington.

Since 1800 there have been three distinct movements to relocate the national capital. The first attempt was induced by the burning of the Capitol by the British in 1814. The second effort, which occurred in 1846, was the result of political and sectional interests and differences. The third and most formidable movement came after the Civil War. This movement originated in the Mississippi Valley and almost assumed the proportions of a national issue. 151

THE PALIMPSEST

152

The

agitation for the relocation of the national

was reflected in the First General Iowa which convened at Iowa City in

capital in 1846

Assembly

of

the fall of that year. tion of selecting a

Early in the session the ques-

new

site for the

came before the Assembly and

elicited

State capital

much

debate.

Eepresentative S. B. Olmstead became so obsessed with the spirit of capital removal that he introduced a joint resolution to move the national seat of gov-

ernment to the Raccoon Forks of the Des Moines River. The motion was tabled indefinitely. Numerous citizens of Iowa City and Johnson County, who were provoked by the efforts to relocate the State capital, presented a petition beg-

"among

other novelties, that the General permit Assembly the citizens of said county to enjoy reasonable health and abundant crops, together with other blessings denied them by nature and their own energies." In reporting upon this petition the committee on agriculture ventured the opinion with an air of badinage that when ''your Committee takes into consideration the growing importance of the country about the Raccoon Forks of the Desmoines river, and compare the same with the District of Columbia, they cannot refrain from expressing their belief that although our Representatives may not be able to remove said Seat of Government 'immediately, the day is nevertheless, not far distant, when this great object will have been accomplished, thus bringing the Seat of the Federal Government in

ging

'

THE CAPITAL ON WHEELS juxtaposition with your petitioners

153

thereby affording them a more favorable opportunity to press their claims upon that august Body, the Congress of the United States." Visionary as this proposal now appears it was not without some foundation. A generation later the question of removing the national capital to the Mississippi Valley commanded the serious attention of leading statesmen. A mere catalogue of activities in behalf of the ''scheme to put the capital on wheels" presents a formidable aspect. Two national conventions were held, a State constitutional convention took action, county boards, city councils, ;

and State legislatures made bids and offered grants of land for the capital, newspaper editors wrote columns of editorials on the subject, pamphlets were published, a lobby was maintained at Washington, and several resolutions were offered in Congress. There were several causes for the agitation. The remarkable increase of the population of mid-western States, particularly Hlinois, Missouri, and Iowa, had shifted the center of population of the nation to western Ohio. The experience of the Civil War had reminded the people of the unstrategic location of Washington as the seat of government. There was also a prevalent opinion that the inhabitants of the

Columbia were not only averse to honest government but were obstructing the work of political reconstruction. Moreover, there seemed to be a growing realization of the unity of the Mississippi District of

THE PALIMPSEST

154

Valley: the old slavery line was forgotten in the vision of the great valley as the dominant section of the "heart of the continent". the nation



The demand for the removal the West reduced to a

ital to

of the national capdefinite issue

found

expression in the efforts to obtain appropriations for extensive improvements in Washington.

The

government had outgrown its habitation. The question in its simplest form was whether new and expensive buildings should be erected in Washington or at some other more centrally located site. The contest began in the second session of the Fortieth Congress when Representative H. E. Paine of Milwaukee offered a resolution that **the seat of government ought to be removed to the Valley of the Mississippi." After some facetious debate the previous question was ordered and to the astonishment of the eastern jokers the proposition received the support of seventy-seven members of the House, while only ninety-seven could be mustered against "Considering that this was the first time a it. proposition for the relocation of the Capital has ever

been seriously entertained or acted upon, the result ought to be accepted as an encouraging one", thought the Iowa State Register. William B. Allison, Grenville M. Dodge, Asahel W. Hubbard, William Loughridge, Hiram Price, and James F. Wilson the entire Iowa delegation voted for





the resolution.

Later in 1868 John A. Logan of

Illinois,

the recog-

THE CAPITAL ON WHEELS

155

nized champion of capital removal in Congress,

introduced a resolution calling for the appointment of a committee *'to inquire into the propriety and expediency of removing the seat of the General Government from said city of Washington to a point near the geographical center of the Republic '. This resolution was vigorously opposed as ''a foul slan'

der" on the people of the District of Columbia, and was defeated so decisively that the agitation for capital removal was temporarily stilled in the House of Representatives.

The newspaper discussion continued, however, led by Joseph Medill, the editor of the Chicago Tribune. Richard Edwards, President of the Illinois State Normal School, urged that the capital be moved to Rock Island, ''that anomalous tract of 900 acres of government land lying in the Mississippi", situated in the pathway of the nation and one of the most attractive spots in the United States". The Iowa '

'

State Register suggested that ''the available ten miles square might be found in Iowa, somewhere

near the junction of the main branches of the Des Moines River". In September, 1869, a big commercial convention was held in Keokuk, Iowa, to boost for river improvement and the development of the resources of the Mississippi Valley. It was at this convention under the leadership of Samuel Miller, a Justice of the United States Supreme Court and a resident of

Keokuk, that the

first

bid of the

West was made

for

THE PALIMPSEST

156

the national capital before a large representative

gathering.

Meanwhile, a National Capital Convention had been called to meet in St. Louis on October 20, 1869. The Governors of all of the States were invited to appoint two delegates for each Congressional disTwenty-one trict and four from the State at large. To represent States and Territories responded. Iowa Governor Samuel Merrill appointed ex-Governor Kalph P. Lowe, President G. F. Magoun of

Iowa College (Grinnell), Maturin L. Fisher, and A. W. Hubbard from the State at large while the twelve district representatives were Augustus C. Dodge, James F. Wilson, Samuel J. Kirkwood, J. M. Tuttle, Grenville M. Dodge, H. E. Newell, G. M. Woodbury, A. H. Hamilton, W. E. Leffingwell, J. G. Patterson, Theodore Hawley, and Hiram Price. In the opinion of the Chicago Tribune this was "one of the strongest and ablest delegations ever sent to any convention, by any state for any purpose Governor Merrill believed that every consideration of the fitness of things, convenience, and mili'

'.

tary safety pointed to the removal of the capital at no distant day. He prophesied that within twenty years, "and probably forever thereafter, the heart of the nation will be not far east of the southeastern corner of Iowa. The location of the capital in the '

'

great valley

— the

center of population, political

power, industrial achievement, and eventually of wealth would, he thought, strengthen the Union



THE CAPITAL ON WHEELS

157

by harmonizing sectional interests and by dispelling the feeling that the more distant States and Territories were regarded more as dependencies of the government than as integral parts of the nation. ** Locate the capital centrally," he declared, "and no matter how extensive the boundaries of the republic, each section would feel that it had an equal part in the government, equally participating in its benefits, and sharing equally in its responsibilities." Even though our republic should be extended over the whole continent of North America" the Mississippi Valley would still be the proper place for a central capital. In view of the contemplated relocation of the seat of government the Governor believed it was "the clear duty of our representatives in Congress to decline to vote for further expenditures *

'

for the national buildings at the present capital."

The National Capital Convention met

in the

Mer-

Library Hall in St. Louis on the afternoon of October 20, 1869. Ralph P. Lowe, chairman of the

cantile

Iowa delegation, was elected temporary chairman of the convention. The first day was consumed with organization and many speeches, some of which bordered on the ridiculous. But in the main the speeches were serious and the men were in earnest. The chief work of the convention the adoption of resolutions was accomplished on the second day.





Resolutions of the Convention "Whereas, The present selected as the

site of

the national capital

was

most central point, when the people of this

;

THE PALIMPSEST

158

few millions in numbers, inhabited only a country along the Atlantic coast and, Whereas, The population of this republic has increased thirteen fold since then, and spread over a vast continent, of which the States in existence when the seat of governrepublic, only a

narrow

strip of

;

ment was located, form only the eastern edge and, Whereas, The present location of the national capital ;

is

notoriously inconvenient in times of peace, as the darkest pages of our national history demonstrate, in times of war or domestic turbulence

is

so dangerously exposed as to

require vast armaments and untold millions of its special

money

for

defense; and.

Whereas, All the reasons which caused the location of it now is, have, by the enormous development of the country, and a corresponding the seat of government where

change in the wants of the people, become utterly obsolete therefore, 1.

Resolved, That

it is

absurd to suppose that the handemerging from colonial

ful of inhabitants in 1789, just

vassalage,

before

steamboats,

power-presses were dreamed

of,

railways,

telegraphs,

or

or a mile of turnpike or

canal constructed, possessed the authority or desired to exercise the

power

of fixing the site of the capital forever,

on the banks of the Potomac, against the will and interests of the hundreds of millions who might come after them. 2. That the people have endured the present illy-located capital for three-quarters of a century, patiently waiting for the western territory of the

Union

to be peopled

and

organized into States, and until the center of population, area,

and wealth could be determined, when a permanent

place of residence for the government could be selected.

That time has now come.

All sectional issues are settled;

THE CAPITAL ON WHEELS all

159

dangerous domestic variances disposed of; a new era new departure taken.

has been entered upon, and a 3.

That in the language of James Madison, in the Conan equal attention to the rights of the com-

gress of 1789,

munity,

is

'

'

the basis of republics.

If

we

consider the effects

power on the aggregate community, we must equal inducement feel to look to the center in order to find the proper seat of government." This equal attention has not been and cannot be given to the interests and rights of the people, so long as the capital is located in an inconveniof legislative

ent section of the Union.

That the vast and fertile region known as the Mismust for all time be the seat of empire of this continent, and exert the controlling influence in the nation, because it is homogeneous in its interests, and too powerful even to permit the outlying States to sever their connection with the Union. This vast plain will always be the surplus food and fiber-producing portion of the continent and the great market for the fine fabrics and tropical 4.

sissippi Valley,

productions of the other sections of the republic.

This

immense basin must have numerous outlets and channels of cheap and swift communication by water and rail with the seaboard, for the egress of its products and ingress of its exchanges. Therefore, whatever policy the government

may pursue

that tends to multiply, improve, or enlarge

those arteries of commerce,

tage to the whole

Union



must

result in

common advan-

to the seaboard States equally

with those of the center. 5.

That the natural, convenient, and inevitable place

for the capital of the republic is in the heart of this valley,

where the center of population, wealth, and power is irresistibly gravitating where the government, surrounded by ;

160

THE PALIMPSEST

numerous millions of brave and Union-loving citizens, would be forever safe against foreign foes or sectional seditions, and where it would need neither armaments nor standing armies for

its

protection.

That while advocating the removal of the seat of government to the Mississippi Valley, we do not mean to serve the interests of any particular locality, but that we urge Congress to appoint a commission for the purpose of 6.

selecting a convenient site for the national capital in this

great valley of the Mississippi, pledging ourselves to be satisfied with and to abide by the decision to be arrived at by the national legislature. That in urging the removal of the national capital 7. from its present inconvenient, out-of-the-way, and exposed location in the far East we are in earnest, and that we shall not cease in our efforts until that end is accomplished, firmly believing that the absolute necessity for the removal will become more apparent every day, and the majority of the American people will not long permit their interests and convenience to be disregarded. That the removal of the national capital being only 8. a question of time, we emphatically oppose and condemn all expenditures of money for enlargement of government buildings, and the erection of new ones at the present seat of the national Government, as a useless and wanton waste

of the property of the people.

The St. Louis convention did not have much influence upon public opinion. Very little attention was paid to the project. General W. T. Sherman assured the people of Washington that they could

calm their fears of losing the capital for he declared

\

THE CAPITAL ON WHEELS

161

would take a hundred years to get a removal motion through the House of Representatives, another hundred years to pass the Senate, a hundred and one years to agree upon a location, and then removal would be delayed fifty years in securing the necessary appropriations and erecting the buildings. The Thirteenth General Assembly of Iowa convened on January 10, 1870, and a few days later Mr. that

it

Lowe made

his report of the St. Louis convention to

the Governor.

He

stated that '*a goodly

number"

Iowa delegates had attended the convention, had heartily participated in its proceedings, and had concurred in the resolutions that were adopted of the '

'

'

'

''without a dissenting voice".

States of the

Nearly

all

of the

West and Southwest were represented

in the convention, he asserted, ''and their action in

was marked with wonderful unanimity and with that earnestness of conviction which would seem to take no denial in the final consummation of the measure." He added, significantly, that the delegates from Iowa, "so far as they lawfully could do so, have committed their State to the policy of removing the seat of the national government to the Mississippi valley a measure of very great importance to the people of the West and they would rejoice to know that their personal pledges upon the subject, should be supported by the more authoritative expression of the General Assembly of their State in the same direction." National capital removal was made the subject of

the premises



;

162

THE PALIMPSEST

a special message by Governor Merrill to the General Assembly on the last day of January, 1870, and he submitted the resolutions of the St. Louis convention together with Chairman Lowe's report for legPrior to this, however, on islative consideration. January 17th, James D. Wright had offered a resolution in the Senate proposing to instruct Iowa members of Congress to use their influence against any further appropriations for public buildings in "Washington. This resolution was referred to the committee on federal relations which reported a substitute three days later that included the additional instruction for Iowa Congressmen ''to use all honorable means to effect at the earliest practical period, a removal of the seat of

Washington City

to

some point

Government from

in the great Valley

of the Mississippi."

On January

27th the resolution came before the

Senate for consideration. Senator Charles Beardsley of Burlington declared that the people in the Mississippi Valley had decided "that the National Capital ought to be removed; that it will be removed; and that it is only a question of time as to that removal." Senator John G. Patterson of Charles City emphasized the military advantage of having the national capital located in ''this beautiful Valley of the West" because then "it would be

beyond the power of a foreign foe, until they would pass through the densely populated States, to the very center of our Nation. They could never reach

THE CAPITAL ON WHEELS

163

our public archives by sea or railroad, and in this Valley they would be protected against the united Among other reapowers of the foreign nations. sons for capital removal he mentioned the convenience of members of Congress, the cementing of '

'

support of the Southern that strong iron band, the great Pacific railroad" centered in the Mississippi

national interests, States,

the

and the fact that

*

'

Valley.

Half in fun Senator William Larrabee proposed ''to cede to the United States some portion of our territory to assist in accomplishing this removal of our National Capital". He thought "perhaps Lee county would like the privilege of paying off some of her bond indebtedness in this manner and have the Capital removed to that place, but I suppose that our democratic friends would object to having Lee county ceded to the United States for that purpose, though they would be willing no doubt to have the Capital located at Keokuk; and in that case I would suggest Des Moines county." Thereupon Senator Beardsley expressed the hope that Senator Larrabee had not intended anything personal in his allusion to Lee County. "I hope he does not intend to convey the idea", said Mr. Beardsley, ''that so many of the citizens of Lee county are now called upon to go to Washington City as Cabinet Ministers, Senators, Judges, members of Congress and Clerks in the various departments that it would be a saving of expense to bring

;

THE PALIMPSEST

164

the capital to Keokuk.

I

must defend

my

neighbors

there from any such imputation as this." Needless to say the substitute resolution passed the Senate almost unanimously. Meanwhile, a joint resolution with the following elaborate preamble had been introduced in the House by John W. Traer and referred to the committee on federal relations, of which John A. Kasson was chairman.

down

Whereas, The question

of the

removal and re-location,

permanently, of the seat of government of the United States at some point more in consonance with the views

and wishes

of the people, is

now

agitating the

pubhc mind

and,

Whereas, The great Mississippi valley lies equi-distant from ocean and ocean, draining by her rivers one-half of the continent, and capable of floating on their bosom the commerce of the entire nation, crossed and re-crossed by the great arteries of commerce and travel, competing for the trade of the sea-board cities

;

and.

Whereas, Her unbounded natural

resources, combining

every element of future greatness, together with her rapid

comparative increase of population, and the energy and intelligence of her people, all point unmistakably to her, in

no distant future, as the seat of wealth, population, and manufactures of the Union.

On February

5th the Senate resolution, instead of the one offered by Mr. Traer, was reported to the House with a minor amendment which was readily accepted. ever,

John

To

the passage of the resolution, how-

P. Irish

was unalterably opposed.

*'I

do

;

THE CAPITAL ON WHEELS not want to

make any

165

contest about this resolu-

and Representatives in Congress, but I really do hope this resohition will not pass. I am aware that it has become very fashionable for western men to claim that we are entitled to the removal of the National

tion," he said, 'instructing our Senators

Capital into the West.

a sort of buncombe.

I fear

many

are using

it

as

For my part I am satisfied is where the men who gave it

with it just where it to us have located it. I do not think we are gaining any thing by it; but we are teaching our people to seek after the shadow rather than the substance. If we could conceive some measure by which our members in Congress could be emancipated from the influence of Eastern ideas about matters of trade and commerce, it might be of some importance and use but I do not believe in this ornamental work of instructing them about the Capital. For that reason I call for the ayes and noes, for the purpose of recording my vote against it, if I be the only one in ;

House who does so." To this William Mills of Dubuque responded

the

a glance at a

map

of the United States would

that indi-

mind that, "on the same and wisdom that characterize

cate to every reflective

principles of prudence

us in other matters," the location of the national capital must soon be changed. ''When we look at counties and States who seek a central position for their county seats

should

we apply

and Capitals," he

said,

"why

a different rule in the location of

'

THE PALIMPSEST

166

our National Capital?

Why

should the people of

the West, especially those on the Pacific Slope, be

obliged to travel away to the District of Columbia, merely because our forefathers had selected that point? I can see no reason why that should be so, only this: that we should continue our location of idols where our fathers built them, whether it be far from us or not, and whether modern improvements require a change or not. If this capital is ever to be

changed, the true policy penditures of It is evident

money

is

not to increase the ex-

in the District of Columbia.

from the public sentiment throughout

demand a change Now, while I would not be in favor of a law restricting them from necessary improvements, I would be in favor of preventing any permathe country, that the people will

before long.

nent expenditure of the public money. resolution will be adopted."

I

hope the

M. E. Cutts of Oskaloosa heartily concurred with Mr. Irish in wishing that our representatives may '

'

be removed from the influence of the politicians of the East; and that our legislation may cease to be controlled by eastern policy and eastern

men", but

he thought that "one good way of doing that is to remove the place of legislation from the East to the West and surround the Capital with western men and western ideas. Mr. Irish suggested that a better method would be to ''remove these unworthy Representatives of the AVest. If Iowa would send men to Congress '

'

'

'

'

'

THE CAPITAL ON WHEELS who have

167

the interests of their constituents at heart.

no danger can result from any blandishments that may surround them. I agree with the gentleman from Mahaska partially. Let us seek men who are true to the interests of the people they represent,

and then you need not put your Capital on wheels, and bring it out West, when you want Western interests served; take it South, when you want Southern interests served and back East, when you want Eastern interests served; and in the coming time we will not be harassed by having a peripatetic Capitah" ''The trouble with the gentleman", replied Mr. Cutts, ''is, that he was not elected to Congress in the Fourth District. I sympathize with him heart;

Though I differ with him as to the effect that had upon the country, yet I say to him, that I would sympathize with him any time. "There is something more melancholy, at least to

ily.

that defeat

'

the people, than

my

defeat," retorted Mr. Irish,

"and that was the success beat me." Here the debate ended.

of the gentleman

who

The resolution was

adopted by a vote of eighty-five to three. The Senate concurred in the House amendment and the joint resolution was duly approved by the Governor.

In the meantime the intrepid John A. Logan had organized a bloc of seventy-four members of the national House of Representatives who were

THE PALIMPSEST

168

On January House went into Committee of the Whole, with George W. McCrary of Iowa in the chair, to consider the question. It was on this occasion that Mr. Logan made his strongest plea for

pledged to vote for capital removal. 22,

1870, the

putting the national capital on wheels " in a speech filling twenty columns in the Congressional Globe. '

'

Nothing came of it. During a debate in the Senate upon the appropriation of a quarter of a million dollars for the extension of the capitol grounds in "Washington, James Harlan called for the reading of the resolutions adopted by the Iowa legislature on that subject and then launched into an argument for capital removal. He was eloquently supported by Richard Yates, but when the vote on the appropriation was counted

only ten Senators cast their ballot against

it.

James

Harlan and James B. Howell of Iowa were among the dissenters.

A

provision recorded five of tives

among

House on a similar the six Iowa Representa-

vote in the

the nays.

The Iowa Republican State Convention which met in Des Moines in August, 1870, adopted a resolution in favor of removing the national capital to the Mississippi Valley and instructing Iowa Congressmen ''not to vote one dollar for the erection of any new buildings, nor the purchase of any additional grounds at Washington City." There was not a dissenting vote against the resolution.

In October, 1870, a second national capital re-

§

THE CAPITAL ON WHEELS

169

moval convention was held in Cincinnati. Again Governor Merrill responded by appointing a strongdelegation of twenty-four prominent men of the State, including Ralph P. Lowe, Benjamin F. Gue, Charles Beardsley, Samuel J. Kirkwood, George F. Magoun, Hoyt Sherman, and M. L. McPherson. Only four of them attended the convention, however, and the delegations from other States were similarly depleted. The enthusiasm for capital removal seemed to be ebbing. A resolution that further agitation on the question was ''mischievous, uncalled for, and detrimental to the best interests of the nation" lacked only two votes of being adopted. In Congress a final stand was made by the advocates of capital removal during the winter of 1871. All of the Iowa Representatives remained steadfast improvement in Washington, but neither Mr. Harlan nor Mr. Howell offered any objections in the Senate. in opposition to appropriations for capital

The policy of erecting new buildings in Washington was definitely adopted and with that action the agitation for capital removal subsided. While hope lingered for some time in the western mind, and even to-day the suggestion of removing the seat of the national government to the Mississippi Valley meets a favorable response, the "scheme to put the capital on wheels" has not been seriously advocated since the early seventies. J.

A. Swisher

Comment by the

Editor

THE IMPORTANCE OF SPORT Eecreation

is

as old as the race.

Since the

first

sustained effort, relaxation has been essential in the life of

man.

and reason

modern

Work

requires thought, concentration,

— the highest mental processes — while

social relations

demand more

self-restraint

and repression of natural impulses than ever before in the evolution of civilization. relief

from the strain

The most

effective

of these strenuous times

is

found in various kinds of sport. It was ever so. Juvenal's satirical phrase ''bread and games" is not paradoxical. Games in a broad sense have always held a prominent place in human activities. Play is as natural as work. Organized sport seems to be concomitant with periods of great mental achievement. The Olympic games reached their climax in the golden age of Greece; the Colosseum and the Circus Maximus were imposing monuments to the athletes of Eome in the height of her glory while the development of sport in America has been contemporaneous with the most complex years in the history of this nation. Nervous stress may be measured, apparently, in ;

terms of recreation.

The 170

rise of sport in the

United States

is

a phe-

COMMENT BY THE EDITOR

171

nomenon of the last half century. Frederic L. Paxson thinks that the passing of the frontier was responsible for it. "The free lands were used up. The cow country rose and fell. The social safety There was no explosion valve was screwed down. because a new safety valve in the form of sport was discovered. Games were substituted for the conquest of a continent to fulfill the demands of innate '

'

physical vigor.

Whatever the causes

of the renaissance of sport

America, the fact is evident. Wholesale interest and participation in organized sport began between the years 1876 and 1893. That Avas the period of sore muscles in American history. The widespread enthusiasm for games from the time of the centennial in Philadelphia to the world's fair in Chicago in

has steadily expanded, with the result that the organization and control of nearly every form of sport has become quasi-national. The sporting page in the daily press a form of recognition accorded is a gauge of public interest to few other activities and perhaps a test of the importance of games. Some of the recent changes in national character and opinion may be attributed, in part at least, to the prevalence and the spirit of sport. Sheer force of public disapproval has driven frauds and quacks





from the advertising pages of reputable journals; moral indifference to shady political and commercial methods has given way to real concern for public honesty; and general contempt has forced

172

THE PALIMPSEST

-

recalcitrant crooks to comply with the rules. The emphasis upon clean sport has led to cleaner living. And who shall say that the women who took up tennis and bicycling did not at the same time make a great stride toward real emancipation? J.

E. B.

i

C^ONl'^KtS i

Grai^shop^r Times 4

:

^

,

^53

)oi^;PlflNEjlAFaiYiDc»ldVXN

W3

iit^t

The £dit6r

--^,.:^'

.Published Monthly At IowaCitv By '

IHE State HsfoRicAi^ SoMof Iowa ss?^^^5S3S^^^^^^a?^^?^?^^?^S55?2^^^^^^

tNTERED AS SECOND CLASS HATTER JULY 28 1920 AT THE POST OFFICE AT IOWA CITY IOWA UNDER THE ACT OF AUGUST 24 1912

THE PURPOSE OF THIS MAGAZINE The Palimpsest,

issued monthly

by the

State His-

devoted to the dissemination of Iowa History. Supplementing the other publications of this Society, it aims to present the materials of Iowa History in a form that is attractive and a style to the end that the that is popular in the best sense story of our Commonwealth may be more widely read torical Society of Iowa, is



and cherished. BENJ. F.

Shambaugh Superintendent

THE MEANING OF PALIMPSESTS materials from

were parchments or other which one or more writings had been

erased to give

room

In early times palimpsests

ures

for later records.

were not always complete; and so

But the erasbecame the

it

fascinating task of scholars not only to translate the later records

but also to reconstruct the original writ-

by deciphering the dim fragments of letters partly erased and partly covered by subsequent texts. The history of Iowa may be likened to a palimpsest which holds the records of successive generations. To ings

decipher these records of the past, reconstruct them, tell the stories which they contain is the task of those who write history.

and

PRICE

— lOc

per copy: $1 per year: free to

ADDRESS — The

members

of Society

State Historical Society Iowa City Iowa

ROBERT

J.

BURDETTE

The Palimpsest EDITED BY JOHN ELY BRIGGS Issued

Vol. IV

in

June 1923

No. 6

COPYRIGHT 1923 BY THE STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF IOWA

"Bob''

Burdette— Humorist

There is scarcely a city or even a rural community United States that does not cherish memories of ''Bob" Burdette memories that bring a smile to the lips and warmth to the heart. Some people, far and near, can still recall, through the mists of nearly fifty years, the eagerness with which they used to await their copies of the Burlington HawkEye which contained his breezy paragraphs. Many in the



more there are who remember him as the lecturer who broadcast smiles and sunshine from a thousand platforms, or, in later years, as the preacher

expounded the gospel

human

in

who

terms of good cheer and

brotherhood.



and preacher "Bob" Burdette trod the primrose path of public favor through two generations. James Whitcomb Riley said his success was due to his "genius for His wife is inclined to emphasize his magloving. Editor,

jester,

lecturer,

poet,

'

'

173

'

THE PALIMPSEST

174

Perhaps his habit of doing his was also partly responsible. Whatever the factors may have been, few men have earned a finer reputation for wholesome humor and steadfast optimism. Robert J. Burdette began his versatile career of three score years and ten in Greene County, Pennsylvania, in 1844. It was a county, he used to say, ''just large enough for a man to get born in." At the age of two he began his westward migration, accompanied by his parents. "I was born in Pennsylvania, weaned in Ohio, kidnapped by Illinois, adopted by Iowa, and married to California", he summarized the stages in his life. ''I never, positively never, did anything I was ashamed of while I remained in my native State. I never swore I never lied; I never stole anything; I never went to a circus I never ran away from Sunday School; I didn't go out at night; I didn't play billiards nor go to horse races. Good boy that I was, I stayed at home and entertained the family. No man, I ween, ever netic personality.

best in everything he undertook

;

;

lived a purer life than I did while I lived in Pennsyl-

vania.

'

Before coming to Iowa in 1874, where he really established his reputation as a humorist, Mr. Burdette had reached a masterful maturity through the

wide experience of his varied early life. In 1861, at the age of sixteen, he graduated from the Peoria, His commencement essay, Illinois, high school. which he later said ''foreshadowed my subsequent

''BOB"

BURDETTE — HUMORIST

175

was entitled "The Press and have preserved that rather remarkable state paper. Would you like to see it? For a hundred thousand dollars you may. I sometimes read it myself. It mitigates the horror of approaching death." On August 4, 1862, just five days after he was eighteen, he enlisted in the Forty-seventh Illinois Volunteer Infantry. The recruiting officer unenthusiastically pointed to the standard of military height, career as a statesman",

the Ballot

Box".

''I

*'a pine stick standing out from the wall in rigid uncompromising insistence, five feet three inches from the floor." As Burdette walked toward it he ''could see it slide up, until it seemed to lift itself seven feet above my ambitious head. If I could have kept up the stretching strain I put on every longitudinal muscle in my body in that minute of fate, I would have been as tall as Abraham Lincoln by the close of the war. As it was, when I stepped under that Rhadamantine rod, I felt my scalplock, which was very likely standing on end with apprehension, brush lightly against it." He was accepted and served to the end of the war. Though he ''fought

through more than a score of battles ', received honorable mention for bravery in the siege of Vicksburg, and "romped through more than a hundred frolics", he never saw the inside of a hospital and never lost a day off duty on account of sickness. Back from the war he taught school near Peoria where the custom was "to go to bed at sunset and

I

'

'

THE PALIMPSEST

176

get up

some time

to start the

true, he thought, that

"the early bird catched the

worm, but what consolation

Had

though 'Hhe sun day". It might be

in the night", as

know when

did not

is

that to the

worm?

he stayed in bed later he would not have been

caught.

'

After three months of teaching he was employed a short time as a clerk in a crockery store, "without fatality

to

dish

or

human".

Then

for

several

months he "was in the railway service when there really wasn't any such thing", working in the capacity of a mail clerk on a short run from Peoria to Logansport, Illinois. In 1868 he entered Cooper Institute in New York for the purpose of studying art and with the avowed intention of "painting a great historic painting that was to cover a canvas as big as the side of a barn, Avith buckets of paint and a name made famous signed in the corner". But New York did not seem to want any "great artist", so the young art student earned a scanty living writing visiting cards and sent remarkably vivid letters back home to the Peoria Transcript. New York, he wrote, was a delightful old mixedup place, where every avenue you take loses itself in a maze of entanglements, where the stranger, after securing full and definite instructions from a policeman who can speak English, buttons up his coat and resolutely starts out to somewhere, and after turning the first two corners as per directions, finds him'

'

'

f ' '

BOB

' '

BURDETTE — HUMORIST

" 177

back at the same identical corner and policeman lie started from; where the streets take a malicious delight in leading the wayfarer up against a dead wall or out to some wharf; where everything is so crooked that were a man to walk rapidly enough he could almost see himself going down another street. At that time U. S. Grant was very much in the public eye, and Burdette tells in a letter of seeing ''the distinguished smoker" airing himself on Broadway. ''General Grant left this city today", he wrote. "The closeness with which he has been self

watched during his stay, precludes any possibility of his having stolen anything. During Burdette 's sojourn in New York he went one Sunday evening to hear Henry Ward Beecher preach. "After reaching Brooklyn", he explained, "you have only to follow the crowds that you see converging from all directions to a common center. That center is Plymouth Church." Knowing that the congregation assembled early he thought he '

past the edifice so as to be sure of its exact location before going there in the evening. What was his surprise "to discover a crowd of nearly two hundred people collected on the sidewalk

would

stroll

and in the street

in front of the closed gates of the

church yard, standing patiently there in the midst of Inside the church the a driving snow storm." "long row of benches around the gallery was densely crowded with tourists, interlopers and plebeians long before the pews began to fill. I was amazed

THE PALIMPSEST

178

when an

energetic usher ordered us to

together, and actually got about a dozen

shippers seated.

Scarcely had

we

sit

closer

more wor-

got settled into

breathing postures again, when the same usher, inexorable as a street car conductor, packed us still closer and wedged in another delegation, and there we sat, our arms hanging down before us, hands solemnly clasped on our knees, jammed and pressed

wrought into such intimate contell what my neighbor was thinking about, and had the usher trod on the corns of the man at the end of the seat, I believe all the rest of us would have 'hollered.' " Burdette's New York letters shaped the way to his newspaper career. After a thrilling adventure as a member of a filibustering expedition to Cuba where he, "the smallest man on the boat", was wounded by so tightly together,

tact, that I

could almost

the Spaniards ''the first time they fired", he returned to Peoria in 1869 and took a position as telegraph editor on the Transcript. By the end of the year he had become city editor and his wit dominated the local page. But one day the editor of the paper announced that when he wanted anything

funny in his paper he would write it himself. So Mr. Burdette transferred his services, and later his capital, to the ill-starred Peoria Revieiv. When the Review went out of business in 1874 about all that

was

left

humor, a

was his sense of Burlington, and a contract to join of the Burlington Hawk-Eye.

of Burdette's fortune ticket to

the editorial staff

' '

BOB

' '

BURDETTE — HUMORIST

179

For several years ''Bob" Burdette was connected with the Hawk-Eye, first as city editor, then as managing editor, and, after he began lecturing, as special He found the Hawk-Eye a sedate, newspaper with a short subscripold conservative tion list, and he left it one of the livest, most influential papers in Iowa and with readers in every State correspondent.

in the Union.

The increased

circulation

was

chiefly

due to Mr. Burdette 's crisp paragraphs touching and public life, each with its owai whimsical coloring his shrewd and logical editorials and his domestic sketches in which his penchant for burlesque, parody, punning, exaggeration, and ludicrous situations was given full play. He came to be known far and wide as ''the Burlington Hawk-Eye man". Charles Beardsley, the editor-in-chief, believed that all printed mirth was unseemly and he chafed and fumed at the city editor's stuff. There was news enough in town without printing nonsense he politics

;

;

But the business office showed him subscription figures that sent Mr. Beardsley back to his wonted editorials, Bob continued to print his genial foolery, and all Burlington was happy. What did anyone on West Hill care that a big fire was covered in a paragraph, so long as there was a column recounting the experiences of Mr. Middleribf Nobody missed a full report of the political rally at South Hill Square if "the Hawk-Eye man" had insisted.

published the latest adventures of Old Bilderback

and Master Bilderback.

THE PALIMPSEST

180

Middlerib and the Bilderbacks were creatures of Burdette's imagination who bore the brunt of his They possessed many of the satirical witticisms. habits and foibles to which

and their

common No ' *

hat,

*

*it

human nature

traits of character struck the

is heir,

chord of

experience. said Mr, Bilderback who couldn 't find his wasn't.' " He had put it there last night ',

just before he

went

to

bed and someone had moved

Whereupon

the family scattered for the usual

morning search.

''Mrs. Bilderback looked in all the

it.

John Rogers going to the and then she went into an old chest, that had the furs and things put away in it, and was opened twice a year, except when Mr. Bilderback 's hat was lost, which occurred on an average three times a day. She shook pepper or fine cut tobacco or camphor out of everything she picked up, and varied her search by the most extraordinary sneezes that ever issued from human throat". Miss Bilderback confined her search to the ''uncut pages of the last Scrihner, which she carefully cut and looked into, with an closets with the air of stake,

eager scrutiny that told

how

intensely interested she

was

in finding that hat. She never varied her method of search, save when the approaching footsteps of her father warned her that he was swinging on his

erratic eccentric in that direction,

when she hid

the

magazine, and picking up the corner of the piano cover looked under that article with a sweet air '. Mr. Bilderback himself was a composite system '

«

''BOB"

BURDETTE — HUMORIST

"He

181

raged through the sittingroom like a hurricane he looked under every chair in that room, and then upset them all to see if he mightn't possibly have overlooked the hat. Then he looked on all the brackets in the parlor, and behind the window curtains, and kicked over the ottoman to look for a hat that he couldn 't have squeezed under a wash-tub. And he kept up a running commentary all the time, which served no purpose except to warn his family when he was coming and give them time He looked into the clock and left it to prepare. stopped and standing crooked. And he Avould like to know who touched that hat. He looked into his daughter's work-box, a sweet little shell that 'George' gave her, and he emptied it out on the table and wondered what such trumpery was for, and who in thunder hid his hat. 'It must be hid,' he said, peering down with a dark, suspicious look into an odor bottle somewhat larger than a thimble, 'for it couldn 't have got so completely out of sight by accident.' If people wouldn't meddle with his things, he howled, for the benefit of Mrs. Bilderback, whom he heard sneezing as he went past the closet door, he would always know just where to find them, because (looking gloomily behind the kitchen wood box) he always had one place to put all his things (and he took off the lid of the spice-box), and kept them there. He glared savagely out of the door, in hopes of seeing his hopeful son, but that youthful strategist was out of sight behind his intrenchments. Mr. of investigation.

;

182

Bilderback

THE PALIMPSEST wrathfully

resumed

his

search,

and

roared, for his daughter's benefit, that he would

spend every cent he had intended to lay out for winter bonnets, in new hats for himself, and then maybe he might be able to find one when he wanted it. Then he opened the door of the oven and looked darkly in, turned all the clothes out of the washbasket, and strewed them around, wondering ^who had hid that hat?' And he pulled the clothes-line off its nail, and got down on his hands and knees to look behind the refrigerator, and wondered 'who had hid that hat;' and then he climbed on the back of a chair to look on the top shelf of the cupboard, and sneezed around among old wide-mouthed bottles and pungent paper parcels, and wondered in muffled wrath 'who had hid that hat?' And he went down into the cellar and roamed around among rows of stone jars covered with plates and tied up with brown paper, and smelling of pickles and things in all stages of progress every one of which he looked into, and how he did wonder 'who had hid that hat.' And he looked into dark corners and swore when he jammed his head against the corners of swinging shelves, and felt along those shelves and run his ;

fingers into all sorts of bowls, containing all sorts of

greasy and sticky stuff, and thumped his head against hams hanging from the rafters, at which he swore anew, and he peered into and felt around in barrels which seemed to have nothing in them but cobwebs and nails shook boxes which were prolific ;

"BOB" BURDETTE — HUMORIST

183

I

I

and startling in rats, and he wondered 'who had hid that hatf ''And just then loud whoops and shouts came from up stairs, announcing that 'here it was.' And old Bilderback went up stairs growling, because the person who hid it hadn't brought it out before, and saw the entire family pointing out into the back yard, where the hat surmounted Mr. Bilderback 's cane, which was leaning against the fence, 'just where you left it, pa,' Miss Bilderback explained, 'when we called you in to supper, and it has been out there all night.' And Mr. Bilderback, evidently restraining, by a violent effort, an intense desire to bless his daughter with the cane, remarked with a mysterious manner, that 'it was mighty singular,' and putting on his hat, he strode away with great dignity leaving his wife and daughter to re-arrange in dust

;

the house."

On

another occasion the Middlerib family went on a picnic. "Mr. M. went out and looked at the sky, and noted the direction of the wind, and watched the movements of the chimney swallows with a critical

and scientific eye, and came in and announced that it would not rain for five days, and they would have the picnic just two days before the rain. And from the hour of that announcement the Middlerib family and their invited relations did nothing but bake, and roast, and stew, and iron clothes, and declare they were tired to death and would be glad when it was all over and done with."

THE PALIMPSEST

184

On

the moniiiig of

tlie

was overcast wild and dissipated

picnic the sky

and the sun had ''a terribly look" which was not encouraging. ''There is no scene in all this wide world of pathos more pathetic than a group of anxious mortals, on the morn of a picnic, trying to delude each other into the belief

when

covered with heavy black clouds, 800 feet thick, and a damp scud is driving through the air, and the sun is only half visible occasionally through a thin cloud that is waiting to be patched up to the standard thickness and density, it So the Middleis going to be a very fine day indeed. ribs looked at the coppery old sun, and the dismal

that

clouds,

the sky

and tried

is

to look cheerful,

and said encour-

never rained when the clouds came up that way;' and, 'See, it is all clear over in the east;' and, 'It often rains very heavily in town when there doesn't a drop of water fall at Prospect Hill.' And thus, with many encouraging remarks of similar import, they awaited the gatheragingly that 'Oh,

it

human beings finally climbed into one wagon, put the baskets and the boys in the other, and drove away, giggling and howling

ing of the party, and the

with well dissembled

"The happy it

glee.

party, although they well

knew

that

had taken the precaution nevertheassortment of shawls and umThey were a quarter of a mile from town began to thunder some, but as it didn't

would not

rain,

less to take a large

brellas.

when

it

thunder in the direction of Prospect

Hill, distant

''BOB"

some three

BURDETTE — HUMORIST

miles, they

went

185

on, confident that

it

wasn't raining, and wouldn't, and conldn't rain at Prospect Hill. They were half a mile from town

when

the cloud that

all

the rest of the clouds

had

been waiting for came up and remorselessly sat down on the last, solitary lingering patch of blue that broke the monotony of the leaden sky, but the party pressed on, confident that they would find blue sky when they got to Prospect Hill. They were a mile from town when old Aquarius pulled the bot-

wagon and began the entertainwas a grand success. The curtain hadn't been up ten minutes before all the standing room in the house was taken up and the box office was closed. The Middlerib party having gone early, and secured front seats, were able to see everything. They expressed their pleasure by loud shrieks, and howls, and wails. They tore umbrellas, that had been furtom out

ment.

of the rain

It

wagon, out of their lurking and shot them up with such abruptness that the hats in the wagon were knocked out into the road. Then the wagon stopped and people crawled out and waded around after hats, and came piling back into the wagon, with their feet loaded with mud. The umbrellas got into each other's way, and from the points of the ribs streams of dirty water trickled down shuddering backs, and stained immaculate dresses, and took the independence out of glossy And the picnic party turned homeshirt fronts. tively placed in the

places,

ward, but

still

the Middleribs did not lose heart.

THE PALIMPSEST

186

They smiled

and Miss Middleadvocated going on and having the picnic in a barn, and wept when they refused her. It rained harder every rod of the way

rib,

tlirougli their tears,

beautiful in her grief,

still

back.

''Then the clouds broke, and then sun came out, and smiling nature stood around looking as pleasant as though it had never played a mean trick on a happy picnic party in its life; and the Middleribs hung themselves out in the sun to dry, and tried to play croquet in the wet grass, and kept up their spirits as well as they knew how, and were not cross if they did get wet. If smiling nature had only given them a show, or even half a chance, they would have got along all right. They were bound to have the picnic party anyhow, so they kept all the relations at the house, and when dinner time came, the grass Avas dry and they set the table out under the trees and made it look as picnicky as possible. It clouded up a little when they were setting the table, but noThe body thought it looked very threatening. soaked things had been dried as carefully as possible, and the table looked beautiful when they gathered around it. And just about the time they got their plates filled and declared that they were glad they came back, and that this was ever so much better than Prospect Hill, a forty acre cloud came and stood right over the table, and then and there went all to pieces.

''The pleasure-seekers

grabbed whatever they

' '

BOB

'

'

BURDETTE — HUMORIST

187

could reach and broke for the house, uttering wild shrieks of dismay. They crowded into the hall,

which wasn't half big enough, and there they stood on each other's trains, and trod on each other's corns, and poured cotfee down each other's backs, and jabbed forks into one another's arms. And when Uncle Steve, who had found Aunt Carrie's baby out under the deserted table, maintaining an unequal struggle with half of a huckle-berry pie and a whole thunder-storm, came tearing in with the hapless infant, and, dashing through the crowd, deposited it on top of a pile of hard-boiled eggs. Miss Middlerib fainted, and the youngest gentleman cousin was driven into a spasm of jealousy because he couldn't walk over a row of cold meats and lob-

and had to endure the misery and ugliest bachelor uncle carry her drooping form to a sofa, and lay her down tenderly, with her classic head in a nest of cream tarts, and her dainty feet on Sadie's Jenny Lind cake. And when Mrs. Middlerib looked out of the window, and saw the dog Heedle with his fore paws in the lemonade bucket, growling at Cousin John, who was ster salad to get to her,

of seeing the oldest

trying to drive him out of it, she expressed a willingness to die right there. And when they were startled

by some unearthly sounds and muffled

shrieks, that

even rose above the human babel in the hall, and found that the cat had got its poor head jammed tighter than wax in the mouth of the jar that contained the cream, everybody just sat on the plate of

'

188

THE PALIMPSEST

things nearest him, and gasped,

'What next I' while

and jar by the tail of the former, and carried them out to be broken apart. And when old Mr. Eubelkins lost his teeth in the coffee pot, half the people in the hall began to lose heart, and one discouraged young cousin said he half wished that they had put the picnic off a day. And finally, when the uproar was at its height, the door-bell rang, and the aunt nearest the door opened it, and there stood the Hon. Mrs. J. C. P. R. Le von Blatheringford and her daughter, the richest and most stylish people in the neighborhood, arrayed like fashion-plates making their first formal call. While they stood gazing in mute bewilderment at the scene of ruin and devastation and chaos before them, Mrs. Middlerib just got behind the door and pounded her head against the wall". That was the blow that Cousin David

lifted cat

finished the picnic.

"Bob" Burdette's daily column of "Hawkeyetems" was replete with ludicrous events, inexcusable puns, and fantastic hyperboles, as the following samples will indicate.

"It's the fashionable thing

among Burlington mumps, and

youngsters, now-a-days, to have the

they are awfully puffed about it, too. "Talk about your centennial trophies. A man on The Hawk-Eye has a nick that was knocked in George Washington's hatchet when he hit it on a nail in the front fence. We are the man, but our modesty will not permit us to say so." '

"BOB" BURDETTB — HUMORIST

189

''A little boy on West Hill, in some inscrutable manner obtained possession of a Swedish primer, last night

about eight o'clock, and before the af-

frighted mother could snatch the dangerous toy his

from

grasp he had attempted to pronounce one of the

long words and had fractured his

little

jaw

in three

places."

"Art has

its

votaries even amid the untaught

A few days ago a savage Indian painted his own face, went into an emigrant wagon that was sketched, by himself, out on the praichildren of the wilderness.

rie after dark,

and drew a woman from under the

canvas and sculptor." '^A spirited race between an old man and a young calf yesterday morning, made a pleasant episode for Tenth street, out on South Hill. The calf got away with the patriarch in a way that was painful. He pulled the old gent do^v^l on his knees on a loose plank in the crossing, tore his trousers and ruined his temper and broke some of the commandments." The ''Hawk-Eye man" delighted in poking fun at Burlington peculiarities. An old cutter stranded on South Hill by some thaw or Hallowe'en prank was made famous from one end of the land to the other as the ''Red Sleigh on Maple Street". A low-lying block, tenanted by two or three unkempt squatter families with numerous dogs and uncared-for children, had been a problem and vexation for years. Burdette christened the place Happy Hollow and reported the social life of the inhabitants in great de-

'

THE PALIMPSEST

190

One day a horse ran away with a light delivery wagon on Angular Street, *'but he got so dizzy and tail.

bewildered trying to follow the course of the way, that he sat down on the sidewalk and cried, from sheer vexation. Prohibition was a prominent issue in Burlington in 1874, and the ''wets" contended that the closing '

of the saloons would hurt business. Burdette seized upon the argument and applied it on all sorts of

occasions. When the poorhouse burned one of the paupers, indignant at being assigned quarters in an out-building, crossed the river and became "a happy inmate" of an Illinois poorhouse. "Thus fanat-

icism and religious oppression continue to drive capital

out of Burlington", concluded the city editor.

"Bob" Burdette launched his first lecture "on the broad ocean of human hearts and ears" at Keokuk in December, 1876. He had about nine and a half pounds of manuscript" on the subject of "The Rise and Fall of the Mustache" and did not miss a word or leave out a line. It took two hours and fifteen minutes to deliver that lecture and when he had finished he "hadn't enough voice left to ask for a glass of water". But the audience liked his humor and that winter he and his lecture were much in demand. Those were the palmy days of the lyceum when P. T. Barnum, Henry Ward Beecher, Joaquin Miller, Wendell Phillips, Henry W. Shaw, "Bill" Nye, and Eugene Field were at the height of their fame on the platform. During the winter of 1877-1878 Mr. Bur'

'

'

**

BOB " BURDETTE — HUMORIST

dette lectured under the direction of the

191

Redpath

Lyceum Bureau. From that time the platform claimed more and more of his attention, but for several years he served the Hawk-Eye as special correspondent.

The ''Roaming Robert"

letters, con-

taining some of the finest things he ever wrote, were full of

philosophy, humor, and pathos

happy harmony by

blended in

all

They

his frolicsome pen.

told

with characteristic cleverness of his experiences in all parts of the country, of the people he met, of the trains he traveled on and those he missed, of the audiences he addressed, and of the tribulations he encountered. In 1880 he left Burlington in the vain hope that his wife's health would be improved and his letters to

Hawk-Eye ceased, though he wrote for the Brooklyn Eagle for several years. He spent the the

summers

some secluded place recuperating from the strain of the lyceum season. It was while he was camping in the woods in Warren County, Pennsylat

vania, that he received his ''call" to the ministry.

"The people came

to

me and

pastor, would I preach for them?

Asked one time why he was a

had no would and did.

said they I

'

Baptist, he replied

that he inherited his religious faith.

"I

love the

Universalists and the Russians, I love the Congrega-

and Prussians and Methodists I love the Presbyterians and the English; but I was born a Baptist and an American, and that settles it." During the lecture season for a number of years

tionalists

;

'

'

THE PALIMPSEST

192

preached every Sunday, ''from Dan to Beersheba". In 1898 he became supply minister of the First Presbyterian Church of Pasadena, California, and when the Temple Baptist Church of Los Angeles was organized in 1903 he was selected as pastor, a position he occupied until his death in 1914. The transition from professional humorist to preacher extended over a period of eighteen years. He emphatically denied that he had wearied of the "strenuous life of the lecture field and sought ease in the pastorate". In these days of intellectual alertness, he said, the man who seeks the pastorate for a vacation will find far more quiet and ease and lie

'

'

down stairs Avith a automobiles on racing

meditative restfulness in falling kitchen

stove

or dodging

day." While he studiously avoided telling funny stories in the pulpit, his sermons were filled with richly

humorous philosophy. "Great things don't amount to much", he declared. "Life is made up of little things. I have known men who were so great they were of no account. You have seen trees so big you could not

tie

a horse to them.

I

have heard preach-

who knew so much you could not understand word they said, and once in a while you go into ers

a a

house where they have a Bible so big they never read it. It is easier to be great than it is to be humble. He always maintained that "humor is but the gar'

ment

of truth. '

Sherman

J.

McNally

Grasshopper Times Northwestern Iowa has suffered much from the grasshoppers. The ravages of the Rocky Mountain locusts were almost continuous in O'Brien County

from 1873 until 1879, though the devastation was much worse in some summers than in others.

Thomas Barry, a

victim of their invasions, relates

his personal experiences in the following pages. 'Tis well I remember that beautiful June day which looked so bright was so when our future





quickly blasted by an invasion of grasshoppers. It was Sunday morning: six of my neighbors had called for me to go with them to Hospers to attend church. There was no definite road, so we simply headed northwest and avoided the deepest slews. The sun was well up in the cloudless blue sky, causing the drops of dew to shine in the soft green grass mottled with prairie flowers. The tall grass by the side of the slew nodded to us as the wind

blew over

it.

Meadow

larks, like

an orchestra of

greeted us with their jubilant song from the tiptop of the tallest weeds as they accompanied us

flutes,

for long stretches.

Then

flashing the black crescents

on their breasts, they flew away and others took up the relay with as clear a note. The heavy sweet smell of blue joint which filled the 193

:

THE PALIMPSEST

194 air so dulled

my

senses that the

German

conversa-

companions seemed far away. A hearty laugh from the crowd brought me back to their presence, and turning to them I said, ''Isn't this wondertion of

my

They looked

ful?"

hesitated a

little

me

rather blankly so I and ventured, "Schon, sehr schon, at

wahr?" and spread my arms over the land. They all assented, "Ja", but one settler who had seen June prairies before edged up more closely

nicht

and said, "Ja, schon, but you can't eat it." He nodded his head in emphasis and limped back to his place in the wagon. When about half way to Hospers a large black cloud suddenly appeared high in the west from which came an ominous sound. The apparition moved directly toward us, its dark appearance became more and more terrifying, and the sound changed to a deep hum. At first we thought a cyclone was upon us. The oxen stopped and we all stared at each other mystified. "Der jiingste Tag", one man shouted and began to pray. The cloud broadened out and settled lower as it drew near the noise became deafening. When it was directly over us it looked like a heavy storm of black flakes, the dark particles singling out and becoming more defined in shape as they descended.

buzzing

;

the legs.

we saw

We

heard the

the shining wings, the long bodies,

The grasshoppers

prairie — were upon us.

As Mike Roeder

— the

scourge of the

lashed his whip and turned the

'

GRASSHOPPER TIMES

195

oxen toward home, we nodded approval. He urged a wabbly trot. the animals into their swiftest gait "When they breathed loudly, he drew them into a slow, steady walk. The men spoke little gloom set-



:

tled upon the group. Again the meadow larks flew with us and plaintively sang, ''0, do not give up

hope.

'

When we

my yard, the my patch of sod

pulled into

pests already covered

shiny brown corn and the

garden was a dark moving mass and the tender young cottonwoods were brown. I was greatly relieved at the apparent composure of my wife as I saw her cutting down the clothes line. She had recovered from her fright and suggested that by swinging a rope we might be able to save some wheat. I figured it a useless procedure but we tied together all the rope we could find and, each taking an end, we swung it back and forth most of the day. We saved enough wheat for seed. I do not think anyone but the old settlers themselves can ever realize the depredations caused by the hoppers. In O'Brien and surrounding counties

field of

wheat.

The

entire

they ate everything before them

— small grain, corn,

vegetables, bark and leaves of trees, the clothes on the line, and the tender shoots of grass that grew near the ground on the prairie. Some farmers cut the unripened grain. By harvest time there was little left

to cut.

northwest Iowa were for the most part people of limited means who had taken advan-

The

settlers in

THE PALIMPSEST

196

tage of the homestead or preemption laws. Long and hard they had labored in anticipation of better times. They had endured all of the hardships and privations of pioneer life in the hope of realizing a substantial reward in the years of prosperity that

were

to follow.

They had come

into the

new country

upon from year to year: there was no surplus The early summer of seventyfor emergencies. three held out big promises. Implements were purchased, new granaries built, and lightning rod on credit. The agents did a thriving business harvest would pay for it all. And then came the grasshoppers. To make matters worse a financial practically empty-handed, depending entirely

the crops



panic broke over the country in September. The approach of winter found many of the farm-

and food. A conFort Dodge and an appeal was

ers in dire need of clothing, fuel,

vention was held in

made

for donations to relieve the destitute in the

stricken

region.

People from

all

parts

of

the

grasshopper country responded generously, and parties" for the benefit of the homesteaders became something of a fad. When the General Assembly convened in January, Governor C. C. Carpenter recommended that the needs of the grasshopper victims should be investigated and some means provided for their relief. A legislative committee visited Sioux, O'Brien, and Osceola counties, met and interviewed hundreds of settlers, and found our local authorities totally un*'

GRASSHOPPER TIMES able to

meet the

situation.

The shortage

197

of seed

grain was especially serious.

Before the end of February a bill was passed which appropriated $50,000 "for the purpose of furnishing the destitute in northwestern Iowa, suffering in consequence of the grasshopper raid of the summer of 1873, with such seed, grain, and vegetables as may be deemed necessary". Over $36,000 of this money was used that spring and nearly two thousand people were aided. I did not take advantage of any of the relief that was offered because I had managed to save some seed and we were able to buy enough food and clothing.

During the late summer and early fall the hoppers had deposited cells of eggs in countless numbers in the cultivated land. Each cell contained about thirty eggs and was covered with a little soil. In the spring the eggs hatched and the ground seemed alive with queer little insects about one-fourth of

an

inch in length and possessing ravenous appetites.

They seemed to be instinctively attracted toward the fields where the tender shoots of grain were making their appearance. The first sign of their ravages strip along the side of a field where was a narrow At first it was the grain or corn was missing. usually attributed to a balk in sowing but as it grew wider day by day the cause was soon apparent. We experimented with every means conceivable Smudging, burning the to exterminate the pests. prairie,

burning

tar,

digging ditches, using kerosene,

THE PALIMPSEST

198

and harrowing the land infested with eggs were

all

tried with little success.

Again there was no harvest.

Many

settlers left

the country disheartened and discouraged.

Some

did not wait to dispose of their land but loaded up

and

left,

others sold for what they could get, while

those

who remained hoped

were

in a pitiful condition.

for the next year. I sold

Many

our old home in

Massachusetts and was saved some of the privations neighbors suffered. Sharks and swindlers were plentiful and took advantage of the needy settlers by offering mortgages at high rates of interest frequently charging two and one-half per cent a month. Only the coarsest food was available. Every spring a new horde of grasshoppers was hatched. They moulted and began to eat as soon as green vegetation appeared. At times we were visited by migratory swarms which would stay a while and then all fly off again in a favorable wind. A grasshopper flight has been likened to ''an immense snow-storm, extending from the ground to a height at which our visual organs perceive them only as minute, darting scintillations, leaving the imagination to picture them indefinite distances beyond. On the horizon they often appear as a dust tornado, riding upon the wind like an ominous hailstorm, eddying and whirling about like the wild, dead leaves in an autumn storm". When a change of temperature was encountered or a storm approached the grasshoppers descended. In alighting.

my



.

.

.

:

!

GRASSHOPPER TIMES

199

they circled in myriads about you, beating against everything animate or inanimate, driving into open

doors and windows, heaping about your feet and around your buildings, while their jaws were constantly at work biting and testing all things in seeking what they could devour. Amid the incessant buzz that such a flight produced and in the presence of the inevitable destruction going on everywhere, one was bewildered and awed at the collective power of the ravaging host. The noise made by one of the vast swarms of migratory grasshoppers when they were engaged in their

work

of destruction

was much the same

as the

low crackling and rasping sound of a prairie fire and the damage swept along before a brisk wind was scarcely less complete. The poet Robert Southey has vividly described the noise produced by



a flight of these locusts

Onward they

come, a dark, continuous cloud

Of congregated myriads numberless, The rushing of whose wings was as the sound Of a broad river, headlong in its course Plunged from a mountain summit, or the roar Of a wild ocean in the autumn storm. Shattering

Their

flights

its

billows on a shore of rocks

sometimes darkened the sky and gave

the settler an ominous feeling of disaster.

One

afternoon I was coming from Primghar in company with some neighbors when the largest and darkest cloud of hoppers we had ever seen passed between

200

THE PALIMPSEST

us and the sun.

The landscape grew hazy and

we could hardly believe our Daylight vanished, the air lost its warmth, and stars were visible. But after a while the cloud, carrying a tail like a comet, passed on. Sunlight and warmth returned, but it was several hours before we could shake off the terror that had seized us. People in the East have often smiled incredulously at our statements that the grasshoppers stopped the trains on the railroads. At times the hordes of migratory hoppers accumulated on the track in such numbers that the oil from their crushed bodies made it necessary to sand the rails before the train could make the grade. J. M. Brainthings seemed so unreal senses.

ard, a prominent

newspaper man

in

Iowa

at that

time, related that one day, well along in the afternoon, while he was on a trip to Council Bluffs, the train came to a standstill on the eastern slope of the

The sun was low and the air had clustered upon the warm rails. The engineer was obliged to back the train and then make a rush for the top of the grade, liberally sanding the track as he did so. The same performance was repeated several times. divide near Arcadia.

cool so that the hoppers

Some

people, not living in the devastated section,

treated the invasion as a joke.

Much humorous

lit-

erature was published concerning the hoppers. Menus were printed showing the variety of ways

they could be served as food. It was said that really delicious soup could be made from the insects, while

GRASSHOPPER TIMES

201

no better and no worse than shrimps. An agricultural house got out a card that had a picture of an enormous hopper sitting on a fence gazing at a field of wheat, and underneath were the words: "In this (s) wheat bye and bye". Fabulous yarns were told of the weird things the fried in butter they tasted

grasshoppers did. As might be assumed, the loss of many harvests caused hard times. There was little money in circulation. Gopher pelts, on which there was a bounty of five cents, were a common medium of exchange. I used some cutlery that I received from Northampton in place of money. There was a good demand for my ware so I tramped the prairies with my sack on my back and visited surrounding towns. The grasshoppers transformed the prairie into a barren world. Only the coarsest dry grass remained. Glossy brown hoppers shone everywhere in the sunlight, often piling up in their greed for any tender vegetation that might be found. I passed prairie shacks with the doors nailed shut; heard

from

families; saw hungry and a few cases of despair. With all the desolation, hope never seemed to leave me. I was often lost in the fog and staid on the prairie all night. Thinking little of my health which I had been sent west to recover, I lay on the ground and watched the fog lift and the friendly stars come out. When dawn stole around me I arose, convinced that better times were in store for us. pitiful tales

settlers'

children, lean cattle,

THE PALIMPSEST

202 111

the

summer

of seventy-nine,

when we

all felt

that we could not endure much longer, a favorable wind came before the hoppers had deposited their They arose and flew high seeking richer eggs. fields.

After the invasion was over, there was an influx new settlers. Barbed wire did away with the free range and marked off our land like a checkerboard. A town sprang up near my place and the Chicago and Northwestern trains puffed through my pasture. A period of general prosperity began. Of the seven old settlers who witnessed the coming of the grasshopppers on that memorable Sunday In in June, 1873, six have gone to their reward. the years that followed we found that we had the same ideals, though we spoke a different language. of

Josephine Baery Donovan

Comment by

the Editor

THE AGE OF IOWA In a political sense Iowa history

political

of

this

is

young.

passed in the span of a single lifetime:

moment

Indeed, the

Commonwealth

is

com-

it is

but a

in the evolution of political institutions.

A

than eighty-five years have passed since It was the Territory of Iowa was established. scarcely more than three quarters of a century ago that the Territory became a State. Sixty-five years measure the time that Des Moines has been the capital city. All within the memory of men still little less

living.

Physically, however,

Iowa

is

as old as the rest of

This region existed ages before the advent of man. Most of the time it was under the sea while tiny clams laid down their shells to form the limestone and the marble for the future dwellings of a nobler race. There were also long periods when Somethe ocean receded and the land appeared. times the country was a barren waste; again the the world.

was tropical when giant trees and enormous ferns grew in reptile-infested marshes; and only a hundred thousand years ago the surface of Iowa was covered with glaciers. The geological history of Iowa is measured by incomprehensible eons of time. climate

203

THE PALIMPSEST

204

In the realm of able past.

human

history

The mound builders

Iowa has a vener-

flourished centuries

before the civilization of the Pharaohs of Egypt.

On

the seventeenth of June

it will have been just years since the white men first came to Iowa. Louis XIV was then dreaming of empire; Charles II maintained his uncertain seat upon the English throne while Peter the Great was The discovery of Iowa by just learning to walk. Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet occurred in 1673, nearly sixty years before George Washington was born and a century prior to the Boston Tea Party. When William Penn was petitioning King Charles for an American land grant in 1680 Louis Hennepin was voyaging up the Mississippi along the eastern border of Iowa. Ten years before the siege and capture of the impregnable fortress of Louisburg by New England militia in 1745 the Sac and Fox Indians had defeated a French army in the Des Moines Valley. At the time Washington took the oath of office as President of the United States, Julien Du-

two hundred and

fifty

;

buque was busily mining lead on Catfish Creek. Iowa is as old as the nation, and older. J. E. B.

gPointinglthi '' '

J-f^-^

4^'

.

Way

;

/

ARENAS Gl Y^mp^%

^:

THE PURPOSE OF THIS MAGAZINE The Palimpsest,

issued monthly

by the

State His-

devoted to the disseminathe other pubSupplementing History. tion of Iowa present the materials it aims to Society, of this lications and a style that is attractive in a form History of Iowa the end that the best sense to in the that is popular widely read Commonwealth may be more story of our

torical Society of Iowa,

is



and cherished. Benj. F.

Shambaugh Superintendeni

THE MEANING OF PALIMPSESTS were parchments or other materials fromi which one or more writings had been erased to give room for later records. But the erasures were not always complete; and so it became the

In early times palimpsests

fascinating task of scholars not only to translate the later records but also to reconstruct the original writ-

ings

by deciphering the dim fragments of

letters partly

erased and partly covered by subsequent texts. The history of Iowa may be likened to a palimpsest

which holds the records

of successive generations.

To

decipher these records of the past, reconstruct them, and tell the stories which they contain is the task of those

who

write history.

PRICE— lOc per

copy: $1 per year: free to

ADDRESS—The

members

of Society

State Historical Society Iowa City Iowa

The Palimpsest EDITED BY JOHN ELY BRIGGS Issued

Vol. IV

in

July 1923

No. 7

COPYRIGHT 1923 BY THE STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF IOWA

Pointing the Toward

Way

the Mississippi Valley the tide of world

empire has been setting for three quarters of a cenThe financier is not even yet at its height. may turn his eyes toward Wall Street or Threadneedle Street, the student may plan his pilgrimage to Cambridge or Leipzig, the artist may long for the tury and

inspiration afforded by the Louvre or the galleries of Florence, but the teeming millions of the overcrowded places of the world, with hands restless to do and hearts ready to dare, turn eager faces toward this great central basin of North America. In the center of this vast tract, midway between the mountain barriers to the east and to the west, midway between the tropic sea to the south and the

frozen sea to the north, stands Iowa. And the way will it interest you for a few moments ? thither



[This account of the French explorations which led to the discovery of Iowa is adapted for The Palimpsest from an address by Mr. Weld The Editoe] before the State Historical Society of Iowa in 1910.



205

206

THE PALIMPSEST

Singularly enough the history of the Mississippi Valley began with Jacques Cartier's voyage up the Fishing fleets began to freSt. Lawrence in 1534. quent the waters about Newfoundland, occasionally ascending the river for the winter and carrying on a profitable fur trade with the Indians. It soon became evident that this trade was well worth developing, and furs came to be sought by the French in the north as eagerly if not as rapaciously as was gold by the Spaniards in the south. Champlain came up the river, bringing colonists who founded Quebec in 1608, the same year that the English founded James-

town.

"Whence came this supply of furs? And whence came this great river, mightier ten-fold than any of the rivers of Europe? The first of these problems appealed to Champlain 's superiors, the latter to Champlain himself. He took but little interest in his colony except as it served him as a base for his explorations. He heard of a great sea to the west and would reach it and find thereby the way to Far Cathay. The St. Lawrence itself was blocked by the Iroquois Indians of northern New York, whose hostility to the French, and particularly to Champlain, was fierce and unrelenting. So he pushed his canoes up the Ottawa until its waters enmeshed with those of a lake called Nipissing. From this lake he followed a river, now known as French River, down to the Georgian Bay of Lake Huron. The Great Lakes lay before him, but it was not his to explore them.

POINTING THE

WAY

207

Indeed he had been preceded thus far by Franciscan missionaries who were already established among the Huron Indians at the head of this same bay. Then followed two decades of confusion and reorganization of the French colonies.

The great assumed their management and, though Champlain was reappointed Governor, commerce and trade were monopolized by a company Richelieu

known

next

as the

Hundred Associates while

were virtually

;

the Jesuits

in charge of all other interests, tem-

poral as well as spiritual. In July of 1634 it was that the Jesuit missionaries Brebeuf, Daniel, and Davost embarked with the Infleet on its annual return journey from Three Rivers to the Huron country. Jean Nicollet was one of this motley company, but the situation was far less novel to him than to his black-robed fellow countrymen. Brebeuf speaks admiringly of him as being ''equal to all the hardships endured by the most robust savages." The tiresome ascent of the Ottawa was finally accomplished and the canoes glided out upon the waters of Lake Nipissing thence down French River to Georgian Bay and on to its head, where the Jesuits established themselves in the place formerly occupied by the Franciscans. They were soon joined by Nicollet, who had tarried for a time with the Indians on an island in the Ottawa. After procuring a suitable outfit and engaging seven Hurons to act as guides, Nicollet bade adieu to Father Brebeuf and his associates and set

dian canoe

;

208

THE PALIMPSEST

out on his voyage westward. His commission required him to explore such countries as he might be able to reach and to make commercial treaties with the people dwelling therein. The party coasted along the eastern and northern shores of Lake Huron, passing through the dangerous channel to the north of the Manitoulins until they found themselves tossing about in the eddies below the Sault Ste. Marie in water through which now floats a commerce whose tonnage is three times that which passes Port Sai'd and Suez. But for Nicollet the scene seems to have had no special interest. He must have heard from the Indians of Lake Superior, but makes no mention of having visited it. The water coursing past his camp at the foot of the rapids was fresh and gave no promise that the "salt sea^' of which he was in search lay beyond. Thus did he miss discovering the greatest of all the Great Lakes. Dropping down St. Mary's Strait he rounded the upper peninsula of Michigan and passed on through

The ''second lake Hurons," as Lake Michigan was for a time the Straits of Mackinac.

of the called,

Boldly following the northern shore of this new-found sea Nicollet entered Green Bay, land-locked by the present State of Wisconsin. He pushed on to its head, where he for the first time encountered tribes of Indians with whom he could not converse. He believed himself upon the outskirts of the vast Chinese Empire. Being invited to a lay before him.

POINTING THE

WAY

209

council with the chiefs he donned the gorgeous

man-

darin's cloak, which he had brought in an oilskin to wear at his appearance before the Chinese

bag

court,

and approaching, discharged his

pistols into

The impression was

all that could be dehe soon discovered that he had not yet reached China nor even its outskirts. He was well received, however, and passed on up the Fox River. After traversing Lake Winnebago he found himself once more among Indians of the Algonquin stock whose language was intelligible. From them he heard of a " great water which could be reached in

the air.

sired, but

'

'

three days by a short portage from the upper Fox Eiver. The portage referred to was, of course, that

Wisconsin River at what is now Portage City. Had he taken this "three days' journey" he would have debouched, not upon a new sea as he supposed, but upon the upper course of the Mississippi at Prairie du Chien opposite McGregor, Iowa. The ''way to Iowa" had been pointed out, but many years were to pass before the first white man set foot on Iowa soil. Why Nicollet missed this opportunity, as he had already missed that at Lake Superior, is not in the least clear. What he did do was to travel overland to the south to visit and establish friendly relations with the great nation of Illinois into the

Indians, obtaining at the same time

some general

notion of the extent of Lake Michigan. But the discoveries of Nicollet were not soon to be followed up.

Scarcely had he returned to Three

THE PALIMPSEST

210

Rivers when Cliamplain died. Then came a succession of incompetent Governors. The Iroquois took advantage of the situation and devastated the country, utterly destroying the Huron nation in 1649. Such of the Jesuit missionaries as had escaped death

were hastily recalled. The fugitive Hurons and Ottawas betook themselves to the remotest shores of the Great Lakes or sought refuge at Quebec, while others became amalgamated with the Iroquois themselves.

Even

the fortified settlements on the St.

Lawrence were

in danger. In 1660 Radisson and his brother-in-law, Grosseilliers, launched their canoes upon Lake Superior and followed the south shore to the end of the lake. Here they located the remnants of the Huron and

Ottawa

tribes, secure in these distant regions

the fury of the Iroquois.

It is

from

claimed that the

brothers, in their overland explorations,

came upon

the Mississippi but, while it may be reasonably inferred, this is not definitely confirmed by Radisson 's ;

journal.

Jean Talon, the capable Intendant of New France, was now devoting his best energies to establishing the claim of the mother country to the broad interior, the real extent of which was beginning to unfold with the simultaneous advance of missionary and fur trader. He meant to occupy this region and secure control of

its

great waterways.

Little recked he of

Far Cathay. He dreamed of a vast new empire for France. The English, mere grubbers of the soil,

POINTING THE

WAY

211

between the Atand the Alleghanies, while Spanish influence was to be thwarted by the establishment of French colonies on the Gulf of Mexico. A splendid expedition was organized under SaintLusson and sent to Sault Ste. Marie to take formal possession of the whole interior of North America in the name of the French King, Louis XIV. But Talon was determined to give the claim made in

were

to be confined to the region

lantic coast

behalf of his sovereign a more substantial foundation. He resolved to discover and map the course of

great river" concerning which such conflicting but insistent rumors had been current ever since the days of Champlain. To execute his purpose he chose Louis Joliet. The experienced explorer was joined at Mackinac by Father Marquette, then in charge of the Huron

that mysterious

**

was early spring. The ice They made instant haste journey. Five companions were to prepare for the all Frenchmen and experienced woodchosen rangers. Their two canoes of birch bark, stiffened with cedar splints, were selected with unusual care. Though large enough to carry safely the seven voyageurs and their provisions of smoked meat and maize, besides blankets, camp utensils, guns, instru-

mission at

had

St. Ignace.

It

just left the straits.



ments, and a quantity of trinkets to serve as presents to the Indians, they were still light enough to

be easily portable. Joliet and the five wood-rangers were dressed in the buckskin suits then worn by

THE PALIMPSEST

212

frontiersmen but Marquette retained his long black Jesuit's cassock and cumbered himself with no weapon save his rosary. On the seventeenth of May, 1673, they pushed off their canoes into the crescent-shaped bay at St. Ignace, rounded the point to the south, and headed westward along the northern shore of Lake Michigan. The voyageurs must have felt the quickening influence of the changing season. They paddled all ;

day, relieving one another by turns.

Trolling lines

At twilight they landed to The sand of the beach still the midday sun. Each canoe

were set to catch fish. prepare for the night. retained the heat of

was hauled up beyond the reach of the waves, turned over, and propped up by one edge to serve as shelter. One of the party collected dry driftwood for the fire. Another cut forked sticks and set them up in the sand to hold a crossbar upon which the kettle was hung. Hulled corn was cooked the fish were broiled in the embers; and Marquette blessed the simple meal. Then, sitting 'round the camp fire, the tired explorers smoked their pipes and rested. Such was the routine of their voyage on Lake Michigan. Pushing on day after day, along the route followed by Nicollet thirty-nine years before, the party They turned into the soon entered Green Bay. Menominee Eiver and visited the village of the Indian tribe of the same name, which signifies wild rice. Here they heard dreadful tales of the country and the river which they were about to visit and ;

FATHER MARQUETTE A RETOUCHED COPY OF A REPUTED PORTRAIT

POINTING THE

WAY

213

were urged to go no farther. A few days later they were welcomed at the mission at the head of the bay, still conducted, as it had been founded, by Father Claude Allouez. After making some final arrangements here they ascended Fox Eiver, crossed Lake. Winnebago, and entered the devious course of the upper Fox. On the seventh of June they had reached the neighborhood of the portage to the Wisconsin Eiver, first made known by Nicollet. Guides were secured to conduct them to the point This point at which the portage was easiest. reached, they carried their canoes and baggage a mile and a half over a marshy prairie and, parting with their guides, launched upon the Meskousing (Wisconsin), whose current might bear them to the South Sea, the Gulf of California, or the Gulf of Mexico, they knew not which. The navigation of the Wisconsin presented no serious difficulties and ten days later, on the seventeenth of June, the explorers floated out upon the

broad surface of a mighty river, which they must have recognized at once as the ''great water" which they had been sent to find out and explore. They were in the shadow of the almost mountainous bluff at the foot of which lies the quaint little town of South McGregor, the Bingen of the Mississippi. Beyond lay the rolling prairies of Iowa; but little did they, or their successors for a century and a half to come, dream of such a Commonwealth as ours. The depth and breadth of the channel and the swift-

THE PALIMPSEST

214

ness of the current gave them some notion, however, of the extent of the territory to

gained access.

which they had



The way to Iowa to the whole Middle West as had been discovered. But between the discovery of Iowa and the beginning of the history of this Commonwealth there is an interval of a century or more. During this interval the region was frequently visited by white men. Its broad prairies, the Mesopotamia of the New World, were doubtless well known to the French and American traders who by turns coursed up and down the Mississippi and well



the Missouri in quest of buffalo skins.

But the men who have made Iowa and our Middle West what it is to-day came, not by way of the Great Lakes from Canada, nor up stream from the French colonies of Louisiana; not in canoes laden with

baubles for cheating the savage, but in emigrant

wagons with wives and children and bringing agricultural implements. They came swarming through the passes of the Alleghanies and brought with them into this new land the spirit of the American Revolution.

Laenas

Gr.

Weld

The Discovery On

of

Iowa

the seventeenth of June, 1923, two

men

stood

on the heights above McGregor, Iowa, and gazed upon the panorama of river and tree-clad islands below, and the sweep of Wisconsin farm land in the One wore the long black cassock, the distance. cincture, the crucifix, and the shovel-board hat of a Jesuit missionary of the seventeenth century, while the other was islad in the fringed coat, trousers, and moccasins of a coureur de hois of New France. Both one impersonating the brave but were Iowa inen gentle Father Jacques Marquette, the other enacting the role of the intrepid and skilled Louis Joliet who, with boatmen five, newspaper representatives, and cameramen, were that afternoon about to start on a two hundred and fifty mile replica voyage in commemoration of the discovery of Iowa. Far below them a ferry boat churned its way up the channel toward the pontoon railroad bridge. Horseshoe Island, with its graceful curves and luxuriant foliage, presented a bit of nature 's landscape gardening. Across the Mississippi, framed in a setting of green-topped hills and bluffs that merged into soft blue haze in the distance, lay the quaint old





French town of Prairie du Chien. Above the trees to the southeast loomed the towers of Campion College. Farther north gleamed the limestone ruins of 215

216

THE PALIMPSEST

Old Fort Crawford above whicli the Stars and Stripes were proudly waving, a reminder of the importance of this frontier post in the days of the fur traders. The spacious buildings and lawns of St. Mary's College were visible on a gently sloping hillside, where amid a riot of color, Wisconsin citizens were celebrating the discovery of the Mississippi with a pageant, "The Father of Waters".

Some four

miles below, the gentle current of the

Wisconsin River disembogued into the swifter flowing Mississippi almost opposite the bold promontory now called Pike's Hill. It was there, two hundred and fifty years ago, that ''we safely entered the Missisipi on the 17th of June, with a joy that I cannot express", wrote Father Marquette. On the seventeenth of June, 1923, the replica voyageurs floated out upon the choppy surface of the mighty river, not perhaps with joy but with wonder at the magnificence of the view. The mountainous range of bluffs dominated by Pike's Hill overshadowed the river on the west, while scallops of green-clad hills with layers of outcropping limestone framed the scene on the east, back of the flood plain along the shore.

Turning downstream, the explorers of 1923 beheld features at every bend of the river. New scenic delights greeted them on every hand, much as the view must have charmed the adventurers of two and a half centuries ago. Islands, willow fringed and crowned with cottonwoods, maples, and elms, ap-

new

THE DISCOVERY OF IOWA

217

peared; the river widened and the sun dipped in a blaze of color behind the western hills. Then came lumbering modern touches of life and action. freight train thundered along the base of the cliffs and the engineer whistled a noisy greeting. Clam muckers watched the symbolical voyage pass by, amazement pictured on their faces. Passengers on

A

an upstream packet waved handkerchiefs and shouted salutations. Twilight settled down and yellow gleams atop the light boards along the shore marked the course of the channel. Guttenberg appeared off the starboard bow and two paleface braves in Indian garb put out in a canoe from shore bearing a message of welcome and an invitation to spend the night as guests of the town.

How

must have been the first night Frenchmen along the Iowa shore seven passed by the two hundred and fifty years ago! Then, as the golden sun sank to rest behind the bluffs and twidifferent

pushed the prows of their two birchbark canoes ashore. Stretching their cramped limbs they prepared to do their simple cooking. A tiny campfire was built with dry driftwood and in the glowing embers they cooked their frugal meal of Perhaps a fish Indian corn and smoked meat. caught on a towline added a supply of tasty food. Father Marquette invoked a blessing, and they all ate heartily after the day of paddling and the thrill light fell, they

of a great achievement.

A

short rest, a pipeful of

fragrant tobacco, and then the boatmen extinguished

218

THE PALIMPSEST

the red coals of their dying campfire and again

launching their canoes, the party floated a few miles farther on to spend the night. When darkness spread its sable robes over the river they anchored at some distance from the shore, and a boatman watched while the others slept. At sunrise they were on their way. Once a huge fish struck Marquette's canoe with such violence that the frail craft was nearly overturned. The great sturgeon which ''rushed through the water like hungry sharks" excited their admiration and the curious paddle fish aroused their wonder. Herds of deer and buffalo were seen and wild turkeys made a welcome addition to their meager food supply, but no sign of human habitation met their searching gaze. They seemed to be alone on the long sweeps of the broad Mississippi with its changing kaleidoscope of wooded islands and sand bars, its treecovered bluffs and open spaces alternating along the banks, and its wide surface, now smooth as glass, now churned to white-capped angry waves by a stitf south wind. Every night, however, they took precautions against a surprise attack. Thus they journeyed along the eastern shore of the Iowa land during that eventful month of June, 1673. The river then flowed untrammeled to the sea, but the voyageurs of 1923 saw on every hand the attempts of man to subdue the spirit of the Mississippi and to control its moods. Wing dams made of woven willows weighted down by limestone rocks directed

THE DISCOVERY OF IOWA

219

Government dredges and snag boats puffed upstream pushing barges piled high with willows. Dingy steamboats nosed along barges heavily loaded with sand and rock repairs for the levees. Red buoys and black buoys slowly bobbing in the water and light boards and diamond boards at intervals along the shore made the current into the channel.

modern navigation

An

easy.

excursion boat, gleaming white in the glaring

sun, appeared around an island

downstream and,

with black smoke pouring from the twin stacks, it approached and passed on the port side, following the deepest part of the channel. The high swells made by its large stern paddle wheel tossed the small canoes of the replica explorers like chips. Spray from the plunging bows dashed over the boatmen, drenching their costumes and glistening on the fringed coat of Joliet and the black robe of Marquette.

A

herd of cattle standing knee deep in the water far out on a sand bar took the place of the buffalo and deer that were seen by the original explorers. A sail boat manned by a sunburnt, barefoot boy dashed athwart the bow of the accompanying launch and careened at a dangerous angle as he doubled back to watch the flotilla pass. He yelled and waved, and his companion, a fox terrier, barked excitedly. Fishermen in motor dories trailed their lines and waved a salute in passing. Sandy bathing beaches and summer cottages with pleasant names Wood-



THE PALIMPSEST

220



Three Elms, and Idlewild suggested cool retreats from the scorching heat. A cluster of houseboats with drying reels and fish racks marked the approach to a city. Then in the distance appeared the graceful outline of a high-arched traffic bridge and the squatty, rugged framework of a railsignals for the readjustment of wigs road bridge and the refashioning of French beards. A schedside, Chalet,



uled stop lay just ahead.

No

such sights greeted the original voyageurs. Not a canoe, not a hut or tepee, not a single sign of human life did they descry for eight days. Finally on the twenty-fifth of June, 1673, as the exploring party drifted along the Iowa shore, one of the group noticed footprints on the sandy beach near the water 's edge. Quickly the canoes were beached and the

two leaders, unarmed, started out to follow the marks in the sand, leaving their five companions to guard the supplies. It was a bold action for the explorer and the missionary, for neither knew what dangers lurked at the end of the narrow, somewhat beaten path which led up the bank to the prairie. Silently following the slender trail for about two





they beheld an Indian bank of a river and two others on a about a mile from the first. Here the two

leagues

five or six miles

village on the hill

Frenchmen commended themselves

to

God, implor-

ing His aid, and then cautiously approached without

being noticed until they could hear the Indians talking.

THE DISCOVERY OF IOWA On that quiet day in June the beauty mer had settled upon the Mississippi

221

of early sum-

Valley.

The

were quiet, smoke curled slowly above the lodges, and the murmur of voices drifted through the open doorways. Inside, Indian women pounded corn into meal in heavy bowls while the braves lolled at ease on the blankets or mended bows and smoked long-stemmed pipes. streets

of the Indian villages

Blinking papooses, brown bundles of stolid indifference or squalling animation, leaned in cradle-boards against the walls.

Suddenly the village was startled into

life.

A

loud shout from the strangers announced their approach. The two messengers from France stopped to

watch the

swarmed out

effect.

In a moment the villagers

were tossed broken bows were forgotten, and the women ceased their work to rush about in wild excitement. As quickly as it began the tumult quieted. Someone had recognized the strangers as Frenchmen and friends; someone in the village, doubtless, knew whence the visitors came; someone, perhaps, had seen the energetic fur traders and the black-robed priests on the shore of Lake Superior or beside the waters of Green Bay. Four old men stepped out of the crowd and advanced toward the strangers. Slowly they walked, two of them holding aloft in the bright sunlight finely ornamented tobacco pipes adorned with multi-colored feathers. Not a word did they speak as with aside,

into the sunlight, pipes

'

222

THE PALIMPSEST

solemn tread they slowly covered the distance between the village and the white men. Finally, as they drew near, they stopped and gazed attentively, yet with respect, at the visitors. Thereupon, Father Marquette, assured that the solemn approach of the four old men was meant as a courteous welcome, asked in Indian dialect, **Who are you?" '*We are Illinois", the old men answered, and as a token of peace they offered the strangers the calumets to smoke, and invited them to enter the village. Together the four Indians and their guests approached the cluster of lodges where the Indians awaited them impatiently. At the door of one of the huts stood an old man, with his hands extended toward the sun. As the group drew near the old man spoke, ''How beautiful is the sun, Frenchmen, when thou comest to visit us All our village awaits thee, and thou shalt enter all our cabins in peace. Then he bade them enter his lodge where a crowd of savages looked upon the visitors in curious yet respectful silence. From time to time in a low voice came the words, ''How good it is, my brothers, that you should visit us." Again the pipe of peace was passed, first to the strangers and then to the elders. During this ceremony of friendship a messenger arrived bearing an invitation from the great chief of all the Illinois to proceed to his village for a council. Thither they set out, the black-go^vn and the explorer and the elders accompanied by a great crowd of Indian braves, squaws, and children. The un!

'

THE DISCOVERY OF IOWA

223

usual sight of two Frenchinen in their village attracted all of the Indians. Some lay in the grass

along the path and watched the procession pass, others ran on ahead and then retraced their steps in

order to see the strangers again. Yet all this was done noiselessly and with great awe of the white

men.

When the procession reached

the village of the big

chief he was beheld standing at the entrance of his lodge between two old men. All three stood erect

and naked, holding their calumets high toward the glowing sun. The chief welcomed the party and drew them within his cabin. Again they smoked the calumet in silence, and the Indians awaited the message of the white men. Father Marquette spoke first and, following the custom with the Indians, gave them four presents, each the token of a message. With the first he told them that he, Jacques Marquette, a priest of the Jesuit Order, and his companion, Louis Joliet, were journeying peacefully to visit the tribes

sea.

With

dwelling on the river as far as the

the second token he announced that God,

who had created them, had pity on them and, wishing to make Himself known to all people, had sent the priest for that purpose. Then he gave them a third present saying that the great chief of the

French had subdued the Iroquois and had restored peace everywhere.

begged the

Finally, with the fourth gift, he

him and his companion all had about the sea and the na-

Illinois to give

the information they

THE PALIMPSEST

224 tions through,

When arose,

whose land they must pass

to reach

it.

the black-gown finished speaking the chief

and resting

his

hand upon the head

of a little

Indian boy, a captive slave, he spoke thus, '*I thank thee, Black-gown,

and

thee,

Frenchman, for having

taken so much trouble to come to visit us. Never has the earth been so beautiful or the sun so bright as to-day. Never has our river been so calm or so free from rocks, which thy canoes have removed in passing. Never has our tobacco tasted so good or our corn appeared so fine as we now see it. Here is my son whom I give thee to show thee my heart. I beg thee to have pity on me, and on all my nation. It is thou who knowest the great Spirit who has made us all. It is thou who speakest to Him, and

who

hearest His word.

health,

and

to

come

Beg Him

to give

me

life

and

to dwell with us, in order to

make us know Him." Then the chief placed

the captive Indian boy near

them a second present, a longstemmed calumet, elaborately carved and decorated with feathers signifying peace. It was to be a talisman for the rest of the journey. With a third presthe visitors and gave

ent he begged the visitors on behalf of his nation to

go no farther on account of the dangers that lay ahead. Marquette replied that he feared not death and regarded no happiness greater than that of losing his life for the glory of

them

all.

but they

Him who had made

This sentiment amazed all the Indians, reply and the council ended.

made no

THE DISCOVERY OF IOWA

A

feast followed.

council Indian

225

During the progress of the hurried to prepare a meal

women had

Young girls now brought which the squaws had made ready. The first course was sagamite Indian corn meal boiled in water and seasoned with fat. An Indian, acting as master of ceremonies, filled a spoon and presented it several times to the mouths of the visitors as if they were children. Then the maidens brought fresh from the fire a second platter on which lay three smoking fish. The same Indian took some pieces of this, removed the bones and, after blowing upon the morsels to cool them, placed the fish in the mouths of the Frenclimen as he had worthy of the occasion. into the lodge the food



fed them the sagamite. For the third course they brought a large dog freshly killed and roasted for the occasion, but when they learned that their guests did not eat that delicacy, it was removed. The fourth course was roast buffalo meat, the fattest and choicest morsels of which were given the priest and his companion. When the feast ended the hosts conducted the Frenchmen through the entire village consisting of

hundred lodges. During this tour an orator harangued the people to see the visitors without annoying them. Everywhere the natives presented their new friends with gifts belts, garters,

fully three



and bracelets made of hair dyed red, yellow, and gray. When nightfall came the explorers slept in the cabin of the chief as his honored guests.

THE PALIMPSEST

226

On

the afternoon of the next day Marquette and

Joliet took leave of the chief promising to pass his village again within four

moons.

They retraced

their steps along the trail to the Mississippi, courte-

ously accompanied by nearly six hundred Indians. On the Iowa bank of the Father of Waters the

Indians watched the white men settle themselves in their canoes, taking with them the Indian slave boy who was destined to share their adventures in the Great Valley. The sun was midway down the sky

when they shoved

off

from the shore and slowly

paddled downstream amid the shouts of the Indians in manifestation of their joy at the visit of the gal-

lant strangers.

Thus ended the first visit of white men to Iowa. Two hundred and fifty years later the replica voyageurs encountered much the same hospitality, friendliness, and kindly interest that the original travellers met when they visited the Illinois Indians. Hundreds of lowans at McGregor, Guttenberg, Dubuque, Bellevue, Clinton, Davenport, Muscatine, Burlington, Fort Madison, and Montrose met the explorers of 1923 at the water front, looked at them in friendly curiosity, and then adopted them as hon-

ored guests. They harangued the travellers and the voyageurs responded. Eedmen in full regalia added color to the welcome at the landings. The trip became a continuous pageant in commemoration of an important episode in Iowa history. Each city feasted the party, gave them presents, and showed them

THE DISCOVERY OF IOWA places

of

interest.

taken to the Abbey of

monks six

227

The modern explorers were

New Melleray where

Trappist

practice the rules of an order founded almost

hundred years before the discovery of Iowa;

they visited the quaint village of Tete des Mort, a bit of rural Europe in an Iowa valley; they inspected the United States Arsenal at Rock Island and they went through the government Biological Station at Fairport. ;

Crapo Park of Burlingamphitheater overlooking the river, with green trees for a background and a vista of Finally, at the beautiful

ton, in a natural

wooded islands and rolling prairies in the distance, was reenacted the welcome of Marquette and Joliet by the Illinois Indians. Jesuit priest and French explorer, Indian braves, chiefs, old men, squaws,

and children, appearing before an audience of thousands of people, caught and reflected the spirit of the first visit of white

men

to Iowa.

Then followed

an eloquent address by a priest of the same missionary order to which Father Marquette belonged. Appropriate ceremonies at Bluff Park, Montrose, culminated the ten day celebration in honor of the discovery of Iowa and the first visit of white men to her borders. As the sun was midway down the sky the replica voyageurs set out for home in a launch, towing the two canoes. Darkness overtook them, and in the north jagged flashes of lightning silhouetted the bluffs and trees on the shoreline. The heavy rumble

THE PALIMPSEST

228

of thunder echoed

down

the valley.

A

train rushed

past, the glare of the headlight piercing the dark-

ness and the flare from the opened fire box revealing Curtains hastily lowThen the rain ered protected the travellers who had endured ten

the fireman.

days of

stifling

tion of a storm.

!

heat on the river without a suggesAt last the docks loomed ahead out

and the launch slid into its quarters. The voyageurs of 1923 had rediscovered the Father of Waters and the friendliness of the people who to-day inhabit the Iowa country. Bruce E. Mahak of the darkness

Father Marquette Humanity

relentless in its quick forgetfiilness

is

more than two centuries have not dimmed the achievements of Father Jacques Marof the dead, but

quette, nor obliterated the

ism of his lived

Much

life.

memory

of the fine ideal-

of the wilderness in

and worked has become peopled, the

which he little

mis-

sion of St. Ignace which he built has long since

by the hundreds of summer tourists who visit the monument at St. Ignace, Michigan, which marks the site of his former chapel. Jacques Marquette grew to manhood in the shadow of dominant personalities and past glories of France. Born in Laon in 1637, he came of a family which cherished the memory of a long line of valiant warriors and distinguished statesmen. As a child he played among the crumbling ruins of walls and ramparts which had withstood the attacks of many foes of France a dozen times a day he gazed upon the imposing cathedral built by the Church of Eome in the twelfth century and his walks frequently led him among the ruins of an ancient leaning tower, fallen to ruins, but Marquette's spirit is

still felt

;

;

built like that of Pisa.

Rose de la Salle, toward a life of tendency natural with a together piety, soon made him determined to abandon the

The

influence of the boy's mother.

229

THE PALIMPSEST

230

traditions of his ancient house which

marked

its

sons

and to enter the service Shortly after he was seventeen, he went to the neighboring town of Nancy and entered

for statesmen and warriors, of the Cross.

the Jesuit college as a novice.

Beginning in 1632, the Jesuits had gradually penetrated far into the forests of North America and were attempting to spread Christianity among the During his long and Indians of lower Canada. France, Marquette had, tedious months of study in no doubt, read accounts of these Jesuit activities and pictured himself as a savior of the savages in this strange, far country. Whatever his hopes may have been, he burned with an intense desire to try his fortunes as a forest missionary in America. For twelve years his ambition remained ungratified,

but he did not lose his ardor.

when he was twenty-nine years

At

last, in 1666,

of age, the long-

wished-for orders arrived and Marquette quickly embarked for the missionary field of New France.

He

reached Quebec in September of the same year and it was there, while he was gaining his first impressions of the New World, that he met Louis Joliet, with whom he was afterward to share one of the greatest adventures of his life. After a rest of twenty days, Marquette was sent to Three Rivers, seventy-seven miles above Quebec, to become a pupil of Father Gabriel Driiillettes in the many-sided art of the Indian missionary. In marked contrast to the theological seminaries of Old

FATHER MARQUETTE

231

France, Three Rivers was a rude school in which the young priest learned to endure the hardships of toilsome journeys, to face the horrors of famine, pestilence, and war, and to speak the strange lan-

guages of the Indians. But Marquette's natural ability, coupled with his great zeal, seems to have overcome all obstacles. Daily association for two years with the greasy savages of Three Rivers, constant observation of their manners and customs, and the mastery of six dialects was deemed to be sufficient apprenticeship, and Marquette was sent to the Ottawa mission at Sault Ste. Marie in the summer of 1668. There he was associated with ''twenty or thirty Nations, all different in language, customs, and Policy." After his first winter's work, he wrote that the harvest of souls "is very abundant, and that it only rests with the Missionaries to baptize the entire population".

He was

skeptical of the sincerity of the Indian con-

verts, however, fearing that they

were "too acqui-

escent" and that after baptism they would still "cling to their customary superstitions." He gave especial attention to baptizing the dying, "who are a surer harvest." Marquette remained only a year at the Sault and then he was sent on to the farthermost corner of Lake Superior to take charge of the mission at La Pointe. Built on a narrow spit of sand and gravel some six miles long, the mission was surrounded by a wild and picturesque landscape of

THE PALIMPSEST

232

steep

cliffs

and dark pine forests. duties with a quaking heart

of sandstone

Marquette assumed his it was a hazardous undertaking, but it was exactly the opportunity for which he had been longing. He went at once to visit the neighboring Indians, and found them to be of the Huron nation and practically all baptized. Some of the other tribes, however, were found to be ''very far from the Kingdom for

of

God." was during

It

his service at

La Pointe

that

Mar-

heard of the great river which flowed so far southward that the nations about the Great Lakes had never heard of its mouth. He also learned of the Illinois Indians a strange tribe of savages who raised maize and enormous squashes, and who did not know what a canoe was. Then and there Marquette conceived the ambition to explore the Mississippi and to carry the Gospel to the benighted Illinois who worshipped the sun and the thunder. In the spring of 1671 the Hurons near La Pointe were threatened with an attack by the warlike Sioux, and fled to Mackinac Island. Marquette abandoned the mission and went with them. There, at the junction of lakes Huron, Superior, and Michigan the gateway to the land of the Illinois in the great valley the shrewd Jesuit took his post and bided the time when he could fulfill his desire. Meanwhile he was kept very busy, ministering to the religious needs of the Indians, baptizing the infants, and making excursions into the surrounding quette

first







FATHER MARQUETTE

233

country by canoe and on foot. Near the edge of the island he established the little mission of St. Ignace, which was later transferred to the mainland. Its site is to-day marked by an imposing monument, a shrine for hundreds of tourists.

Scarcely more than a year had elapsed before

Marquette's dreams came true. It Avas in December, 1672, when his friend Joliet arrived from Quebec with orders for him to join in exploring the Mississippi River and to spread the faith among the

was a momentous occasion in the little settlement, and during the winter months Marquette and Joliet were busy collecting natives of that country.

It

information about the great western country, drawing maps, and preparing for the long journey in the spring.

On

two Frenchmen, together with five boatmen, set out in two small birch-bark canoes. By way of the Fox and Wisthe seventeenth of

May,

1673, the

consin rivers, they reached the Mississippi just a month from the time they started, and eight days later paid their first visit to the people who then lived in Iowa.

After two days of feasting with the Illinois Inthe party proceeded on do^vn the river. Various thrilling adventures convinced the explorers that they were in a strange land indeed. They had not gone far when they saw, painted high upon the smooth surface of a cliff, two hideous monsters, the work of some imaginative Indian artist. ''They are dians,

THE PALIMPSEST

234

as '

'

large

As a

calf",

writes

Father Marquette.

They have Horns on their heads Like those

of deer,

a horrible look, red eyes, a beard Like a tiger's, a

somewhat like a man's, a body Covered with and so Long A tail that it winds all around the Body, passing the head and going back between face

scales,

the legs, ending in a Fish's tail."

While still discussing these pictured rocks they heard the rush of a rapids and in a few moments they were in the muddy and turbulent waters of the Missouri River. '*An accumulation of large and entire trees, branches, and floating islands, was issuing from the mouth of the river, with such impetuosity", says Marquette, that they could not pass through without great danger.

Going farther to the south, the explorers encountered great swarms of mosquitoes near the broad mouth of the Ohio. The heat and the insects made miserable until the men hoisted canvas tents over their canoes, after the manner of the southern

life

Indians.

A few days

later, as the

voyageurs approached a

saw the savages preparing for battle. ''They were armed with bows, arrows, hatchets, clubs, and shields", relates village of Mitchigamea Indians, they

Father Marquette. ''They prepared to attack us, on both land and water; part of them embarked in great wooden canoes

— some

to ascend, others to

descend the river, in order to Intercept us and surround us on all sides. Those who were on land came

FATHER MARQUETTE

235

and went, as if to commence The attack. In fact, some Yonng men threw themselves into The water, to come and seize my Canoe; but the current compelled Them to return to land. One of them then hurled his club, which passed over without striking us. In vain I showed The calumet, and made them signs that we were not coming to war against them. The alarm continued, and they were already preparing to pierce us with arrows from all sides, when God suddenly touched the hearts of the old men, who were standing at the water's edge."

The elders succeeded in checking the ardor of the young braves and invited the Frenchmen to their village. The Indians could not understand MarAlgonquin dialects, but they told him that quette's another tribe farther down the river near the mouth of the Arkansas could give what information they desired.

The Arkansas Indians received the explorers with The unmistakable demonstrations of friendship. Innightfall, while the white men were feasted until dians told of the dangers of the river below, of the and of the murderous Spaniards not far away. Pondering upon these warnings, convinced that they were within three days' journey of the sea, and anxious to report their discoveries, Marquette and Joliet defierce tribes that inhabited the country,

cided to turn their canoes northward.

home was begun on July seventeenth. Paddling against the stream was far different from The

trip

THE PALIMPSEST

236 floating with

were forced

it,

the boatmen soon discovered.

to thread their

way back and

They forth

across the river to avoid the swiftest currents. if to

As

multiply their woes, the heat became almost un-

bearable and the mosquitoes were a constant irritation. Camping in the damp night air, without fire to

avoid attack, and sleeping in cramped positions in the canoes were unhealthy" practices which would harm the health of any man, and Marquette, being naturally of a delicate physique, began to show signs of collapse.

At

last they

reached the Illinois River, where

them of a shorter way to Lake than Michigan the route by which they had come. In the course of their journey up the Illinois, they came one day to a village in whose lodges lived the same Indians they had visited in Iowa. The tired voyageurs were welcomed with such hospitality that they remained three days in the village. Marquette told the Indians of the God who had protected him on his long voyage, and before he departed he promised to return some day and establish a mission among them. Reaching Lake Michigan, probably by way of the Chicago River, the weary explorers pushed their sadly worn canoes on toward the Jesuit mission of St. Francois Xavier at De Fere, where Marquette had been assigned for service. There he arrived at the end of September, ill and exhausted, just four months after he had started on his journey. friendly Indians told

FATHER MAKQUETTE

237

During the long and tedious winter whicli followed, Marquette 's mind was busy making plans to return to the Illinois tribes and establish a mission near Kaskaskia. In the early autumn he believed himself well enough to accomplish this task and he started from De Pere in October, 1674. Two French servants accompanied him. Along the shore of Lake Michigan the travellers Constant encountered cold and stormy weather. exposure to wind, rain, and cold so weakened Father Marquette that, upon reaching the Chicago River in December, the two boatmen were forced to build a rude hut and there, amidst the great silences of the The wilderness, the three men spent the winter. black-gown struggled through the strain of the cold season and in March the three men pursued their journey toward Kaskaskia. Marquette's health failed rapidly but they reached the Indian village on the eighth of April where Marquette "was received as an angel from Heaven." A tabernacle of saplings covered with reed mats and bearskins was built close to the village and in it were hung ''several pieces of Chinese taffeta, attached to these four large Pictures of the

blessed Virgin, which were visible on all Sides." There the priest spoke eloquently to more than a

thousand braves who listened "with universal Joy", and prayed that he might return to them again as soon as his health would permit. Marquette's illness grew steadily worse and.

238

THE PALIMPSEST

realizing that death

was not

far distant, he started

north with the hope of reaching- the mission of St. Ignace before he died. His two faithful servants, taking advantage of the northward current, pushed the little canoe along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, but April and early May were cold and stormy, and the two boatmen despaired of being able to reach their destination in time. Marquette, preparing to die, reclined upon the reed mats in the bottom of the boat. At last, perceiving a high eminence which he deemed well-suited for his burial, Marquette directed his servants to stop, for he had selected that spot as the place of his last repose. It was early in the day and the boatmen wished to go farther, but God raised a Contrary wind", and they were compelled to turn back to the place which Marquette had pointed out. There they built a little fire, made a wretched cabin of bark, and the dying missionary was laid beneath the humble roof. While the men were tearfully engaged in making camp, Marquette spent his last hours in prayer, and on the eighteenth of May, 1675, "with a countenance beaming and all aglow, he expired so gently that it might have been '

'

regarded as a pleasant sleep." The two servants buried their master as he had directed, and placed a large cross to mark his grave. In the spring, some Kiskakons carried his body to St. Ignace and lowered it into a small vault in the middle of the church. The little mission was burned

FATHER MARQUETTE

239

and for more than one hundred and seventyIn 1877, five years his resting place was unknown. Father Edward Jacker discovered the grave and Marqnette's remains now rest in the church of St. Ignace and at Marquette University in Milwaukee. Marquette was never a man of great strength he was unfitted for the rough life of the wilderness. His gentle manner and frail physique, however, concealed a will of iron. Earnest, kind, and sincere, the model of his whole life was Saint Frangois Xavier, in 1700

;

probably the greatest of all Jesuit missionaries, who extended the faith through fifty-two kingdoms in Asia. In many respects, the incidents of Marquette's life ran parallel to those of his great predeWhen death overtook him, alone in the cessor. wilderness, he spent his last few hours giving thanks to God that he could die ''as he had always prayed, in a Wretched cabin in the midst of the forests and bereft of all human succor", exactly as Saint Francois Xavier did many centuries before him on the other side of the world.

Ruth

B. Middaugh

Louis Joliet The story begins on Thursday the twenty-first of September in the year 1645. It was on that day that Jean Joliet, a poor wagon-maker in the service of

company of the Hundred Assowhich then controlled Canada, might have been seen by some of the inhabitants of Quebec as he and his wife, Marie, climbed slowly up the heights with their infant son and made their way to the church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Mary. There, in the presence of parents and godparents, the cure baptized and christened the child the great fur-trading ciates

Afterw^ard the

family returned to their humble home in the old Lower To^vn at the foot of the towering rock of Quebec beside the mighty St. Louis.

little

Lawrence.

During the years that followed, while the little French trading post with its two or three hundred colonists, adventurers, priests, and nuns was just beginning to assume the dignity becoming to the

New

France, the sturdy youngster outand thrived in the midst of hardship and privation after the manner of the hardy race from which he sprang. The winters were long and cold, and the summers were filled with dread of

capital of

grew

his infancy

Yet the cheerful French folk faced impending calamity with a laugh or a bon mot and

the Indians.

240

LOUIS JOLIET society in the

241

Upper Town, where the seigneurs

brought their families to spend the winter months, reproduced the gaiety of the salons of Old France. Louis Joliet developed into an alert and active boy. Before he was old enough to remember disHe attended the Jesuit tinctly his father died. school with the other children of Quebec, most of whom lived in the Lower Town near the landing. Proximity to the St. Lawrence no doubt inspired the boy with a fancy for voyages, while the arrival and departure of missionaries, traders, and Indians gave rise to dreams of adventure and manly ambition. One of the youthful amusements was to play in the brook that came down from Cape Diamond in a sucOften, as a boy, Louis cession of little cascades. Joliet may have climbed the steep and narroAV ascent from Wolfe's Cove to the Plains of Abraham, just as a century later the British stealthily gained the same impregnable heights and wrested an empire from the French. Joliet seems to have been none the less a student for all of his boyish activities. In the Department of Marine in Paris there is a remarkable map of the island of Anticosti and the Gulf of St. Lawrence, drawn by him when he was only thirteen. The work is carefully executed and the notes and legends indicate maturity and accurate observation. In 1662 he decided to become a Jesuit priest and took his minor orders in August of that year. talent for music

and continued

He

cultivated his

his classical course

242

THE PALIMPSEST

by a study of philosophy.

Four years

later

he

is

mentioned with special honor for his participation in a public debate in philosophy, at which the dignitaries of the colony were present and in which the Intendant, Talon himself, took part. The arguments were made in Latin and the disputants were confined to the syllogistic method. During the following year Joliet, who had then reached his majority, was "clerk of the church" in the seminary. Father Jacques Marquette came to Quebec in September, 1666, and during the three weeks he tarried before going on to Three Rivers the two young men must have become well acquainted. Joliet, however, gave up his training for the priesthood about the time that Marquette entered upon his chosen field as a forest missionary, and in the summer of 1667, probably at the instigation of Talon and for the purpose of pursuing special studies in the Old World, he sailed for France. After a happy year in the land of his fathers, Joliet returned to Quebec and began his career as explorer. Only the most resourceful, intrepid, and sturdy young men ventured upon that arduous calling.

The successful coureur de

the craft of the wilderness

hois

had

to

know

— how to find his way in

the depths of the forest how to fashion shelter huts, weapons, and canoes how to survive alone far from the base of supplies. He had to live with the Indians, interpret their moods, and speak their dialects. Above all, he had to be tactful, brave, and alert. ;

;

LOUIS JOLIET

243

Commissioned by the Governor of New France accompany Jean Pere on an expedition in search

to

of

fabulous boulders of pure copper on the shores of Joliet plunged into the wilderness

Lake Superior,

was not heard of the following autumn. One day in Sep-

early in the spring of 1669 and

again until

tember the Sieur de La Salle with his party of explorers and Sulpitian missionaries in search of a new route to the South Sea were amazed to hear of another Frenclunan in a neighboring Indian village near the western end of Lake Ontario. It was Joliet on his way back to Quebec. He had failed to find the copper mines, but he had obtained precious knowledge of the region of the Great Lakes, had visited Green Bay, had won the friendship of the Indians, had made peace between the Iroquois and the Ottawas, and had discovered a new and less difficult route to the West by way of the Grand River and Lake Erie. For these services he was paid four hundred livres not quite eighty dollars. Late in the following year Joliet returned to the Great Lakes as a member of Saint-Lusson's pretentious expedition, and the early summer of 1671 found him at Sault Ste. Marie where a great concourse of Indians, priests, and soldiers had assembled to witness an imposing ceremony. There, on the fourteenth of June, he stood with a little group of Europeans surrounded by hundreds of dusky savages, their eyes wide with wonder, while Father Claude Dablon invoked a blessing upon the huge



THE PALIMPSEST

244

wooden

cross erected as a token of spiritual do-

minion.

Saint-Lusson, lifting a sod and holding

forth his sword, in the

XIV

Majesty, Louis possession of

all

name

of His

Most Christian

of France, then took formal

from Hudson Bay

the territory

the South Sea and westward to the ocean

to

— a realm

of which none of them knew the extent. "Vive le Roil" shouted the Frenchmen, and the Indians howled in concert. One of the most alluring mysteries of the continent still remained unsolved. What was the ^' great water to the west of which the Indians had told the explorers and missionaries, and whither did it flow? When Talon received instructions in 1672 to direct '

'

his attention to the exploration of the Mississippi as

the most important project that could be undertaken in behalf of

New

France, his choice of a person to

entrust with such a mission naturally fell to Louis

young scholar whom he had sent and who had since distinguished himself as a zealous and trustworthy Joliet, the brilliant

to

Europe

six years before

explorer.

By November,

after Talon

had been recalled

to

France and Joliet was far on his way, the new Governor, Frontenac, wrote to the prime minister that he had ''deemed it expedient for the service to send Sieur Joliet to discover the south sea by way of the country of the Maskoutens and the great river called Mississipi,

which

fornia sea.

He

is

is

a

believed to

man

empty

into the Cali-

of experience in this kind of

LOUIS JOLIET

LOUIS JOLIET

245

discovery and has already been near the great river, of which he promises to see the

friend Father Marquette,

who was

mouth,"

To

his

patiently waiting

at the mission of St. Ignace for an opportunity to visit the

Indians

who

lived along the great river,

Joliet carried instructions to

accompany him on the

voyage. Slowly and apparently alone, Sieur Joliet paddled his birch-bark canoe up the turbulent Ottawa and Mattawan, laboriously he traversed the portage to

Lake Nipissing, and jS.nally emerging from its forested islands, gay with autumnal foliage, he rapidly descended the French Eiver and floated out into the isle-strewn expanse of Georgian Bay. Weeks must have passed while he threaded that gloomy archipelago, genial October was succeeded by chill November, each morning when the traveller awakened beneath his shelter of boughs he found the damp mosses crisp under foot, while fitful winds laden with snowflakes whistled mournfully in the tree tops. To reach Mackinac before the ice blocked his passage the bold explorer must have taken many risks, for

it

was the eighth

of

December and

floes

were

already forming in the straits when he beached his canoe at Point St. Ignace, embraced his priestly friend, and placed within his eager hands the fateful

message which was

to link their

names upon a page

of history.

All through the long winter Joliet and Marquette

made

careful preparations for their

momentous

ex-

THE PALIMPSEST

246 ploration. little

On

May, 1673, the in the autumn be-

the seventeentli of

it was late weary and travel-worn, pulled

party set out, and

his canoe onto the beach at St. Ignace. Cold weather was at hand, so he spent the winter at the Mackinac settlement, writing his report to the Governor, drafting a map of the Illinois country, and preparing his jour-

fore Joliet,

nal of the voyage.

When strait,

spring came and the ice went out of the he embarked upon the long trip back to Que-

Week after week Joliet and his companions bec. paddled homeward. At last they approached the town of Montreal and entered the troubled waters of the last ordeal of the perilous La Chine Eapids journey. Many a time Joliet had passed those foamcovered rocks before, but the fates that day were capricious and overturned the light canoe. The men were thro^vn into the swift current and the box containing Joliet 's precious map and his journal was deposited at the bottom of the river. Frantically, Joliet struggled against the tugging whirlpools until his strength was gone and he lost consciousness. Four hours his body tossed in the water when at last some fishermen pulled him out and brought him back to life. His French companions and the Indian lad, gift of the Indians in Iowa, were drowned. The news of Joliet 's discovery and the accident in the rapids preceded him to Quebec. When he finally entered his native town the church bells were rung and he was enthusiastically welcomed. After em-



LOUIS JOLIET

247

bracing his mother and visiting a little with friends and relatives he hastened to make a verbal report to Governor Frontenac. Later he wrote a brief account of his voyage, the country he had explored,

and the ease of establishing communication between

Accomthe region drawn

the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico.

panying this letter was a map of from memory.

For several years the young explorer was haunted with the

memory

of the beautiful prairies, the lux-

uriant vegetation, the abundance of game, and the

innumerable herds of bison which he had seen in the fertile valley of the great river. In 1676, the year following his marriage, he proposed to establish an agricultural colony in Illinois, believing that

best

method

of maintaining the

was the

French claim

region, but Paris officialdom vetoed

it.

to that

Thereafter,

for a time, he seems to have fallen into disfavor,

perhaps because he was outspoken in opposition to the policy of supplying the Indians with liquor. So ended the period of greatest accomplislmient in the life of Louis Joliet, though for a quarter of a century longer he continued to occupy an important place in Canadian history. A man of scholarship and versatility (he played the cathedral organ between voyages), his whole career is one of remarkable achievement. In the Jesuit and official records of that time he is always referred to as a man of discretion, bravery, and unusual ability who might be trusted to do difficult work.

248

THE PALIMPSEST

In 1679 Sieur Joliet was granted the seigneuriage Mingan Islands, and later in the same year he made a survey of the region between the Saguenay River and James Bay, where he found the British firmly established. In return for his services he was given the island of Anticosti in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. There he went to live with his family and was growing wealthy when Sir William Phips appeared with his British fleet in 1690 and destroyed his establishment. A few years later he explored the coast of Labrador, made numerous maps, and studied the Eskimos and the resources of that country. In 1695 he went to France where he was received with honor and respect. When he returned to Quebec he was appointed royal professor of navigation and was given another seigneurie which bore his own name and which his descendants possess to this day. Louis Joliet died sometime in the summer of 1700 nobody knows just when or where or how. It is probable that the illustrious explorer met his end some place in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, where so often he had guided his boat on adventurous voyages. Perhaps his body rests on one of those rugged islands which the fogs envelop with a white shroud and whose shores reverberate incessantly with the cry of gulls and the thunder of billows. of the



John Ely Bkiggs

Comment by

the Editor

THE KEDISCOVEKY OF IOWA During the eleven days from the seventeenth to the twenty-seventh of June, there occurred one of the most significant episodes in the recent history of

Iowa

— the celebration of the two hundred and

fifti-

eth anniversary of the exploration of the Mississippi

River by Louis Joliet and Father Marquette. The central feature of the event was a replica voyage from the mouth of the Wisconsin River to Montrose a continuous pageant lasting ten days, extending over a stage two hundred and fifty miles long, and witnessed by great numbers of people in audiences sometimes of thousands and again composed of only a few uncomprehending clam muckers. At the end of the trip the visit of the Frenchmen to an Indian village in Iowa two centuries and a half ago was re-



enacted, and the

the first white

commemoration

men was made

of the

coming of

the occasion for ob-

serving other events in the early history of this

Commonwealth. The significance

of the celebration, however, lies

not so much in the length of the replica voyage, the size of the pageants, or the cost of the whole enterprise as

project

does in the spontaneity with which the began and the wide-spread interest it it

249

THE PALIMPSEST

250

was the work of the ** history fans" of Iowa, inspired by Ben Hur Wilson of Mount Pleasant, who sells insurance for a living and studies local history for pleasure. Wherever the proposed celebration was mentioned the community eagerly responded. Before the end of May cities and clubs were vying for a place on the program, so that it became a problem to accommodate all who aroused.

The whole

affair

wished to share in the observance of Iowa's oldest anniversary. For every task there were ready and willing hands. Finances took care of themselves. No individual, city, society, organization, or group dominated the celebration it was thoroughly demo:

cratic

— the culmination of a common impulse.

Scarcely less impressive

is

the unusual interest in

Iowa history that the event engendered. To many people who had never heard of Father Marquette or his picturesque companion, Sieur Joliet, those names are now familiar. For some, the "Black-Eobe chief, the Prophet" in Longfellow's Song of Hiawatha has become real and the poem has a new significance, for Father Marquette was that Black-Robe. Busy public officials, matter-of-fact business men, and energetic club

women have haunted

the libraries to learn

Frenchmen who explored the Oreat Lakes and came into the Mississippi Valley seeking the Chinese Empire and a way to the sea. Newspapers have printed hundreds of columns conof the adventurous

cerning Joliet and Marquette and the recent reincarnation of those forgotten times. Far and wide

COMMENT BY THE EDITOR

251

people of every station in life have learned of the discovery of Iowa, have caught a glimpse of the great valley as it was when the white men found it. The story has become common knowledge the peo:

ple of

Iowa have come

into a part of their rich

heritage of the past.

The celebration of an event that occurred in Iowa two and a half centuries ago has done more than anything else to teach the people of this State that



Iowa has a past a past venerable in years and full of romance. The realm of Iowa history is broad and

many

fertile fields remain as yet uncultivated, their resources undeveloped and their potentiality un-

known.

There are more lessons to follow.

THE

Iowa

has

many

SPIBIT OF

IOWA

distinctive

characteristics

— —

contentment, homogeneity, literacy, wealth but one of the finest of all is Commonwealth conthrift,

sciousness. Perhaps it is the sum of them all. It is founded not upon climate or class or creed, but upon an all-pervading community of interests. Less than a year ago a cynical and superficial critic wrote that no one had yet been able "to rouse this people to a participation in any creative expression of the commonwealth" and concluded, "Seldom has a people been less interested in spiritual self-expression and more concerned with hog nutrition." To such a libel the recent memorial celebration is the answer. It

was the true expression

of the spirit of

Iowa

—a

252

THE PALIMPSEST

spontaneous, whole-hearted, unselfish response to a

worthy enterprise. In the years to come there

will be many occasions important events, noble for the achievements, and glorious days in the history of Let there be similar demonthis Commonwealth. strations of the spirit of Iowa in the future. Let us maintain respect for our own institutions, let us write and read the story of our own State, let us compose our own music and create our own art, that the democracy of our fathers, the romance of our history, and the character of our prairies may live in the hearts of our people and find expression in the perpetuation of our native traits.

recognition

of

J.

E. B.

CGNf ENiTS Restorer of Iowa Palimpsests 253

A6-IowarD>opn%Bahd

^

267

CfdniEnj^fit^

The Editor

Published Monthly At IowaCitt By

IHE State HBroidf SoMoHowA' ^^^^^^5^^^^^^E« INTERED AS SECOND CLASS MATTER JULY 28 1920 AT THE POST OFFICE AT IOWA CITY IOWA UNDER THE ACT OF AUGUST 24 1912

THE PURPOSE OF THIS MAGAZINE The Palimpsest,

issued monthly

by the

State His-

devoted to the dissemination of Iowa History. Supplementing the other publications of this Society, it aims to present the materials of Iowa History in a form that is attractive and a style that is popular in the best sense to the end that the story of our Commonwealth may be more widely read torical Society of Iowa, is



and cherished. Benj. F.

Shambaugh Superintendent

THE MEANING OF PALIMPSESTS materials from

were parchments or other which one or more writings had been

erased to give

room

In early times palimpsests

for later records.

ures were not always complete;

and so

But the erasit

became the

fascinating task of scholars not only to translate the later records

but also to reconstruct the original

w^rit-

by deciphering the dim fragments of letters partly erased and partly covered by subsequent texts. The history of Iowa may be likened to a palimpsest which holds the records of successive generations. To ings

decipher these records of the past, reconstruct them, tell the stories which they contain is the task of

and

those

who

PRICE

— 10c

write history.

per copy: $1 per year: free to members of Society

ADDRESS— The

State Historical Society Iowa City Iowa

^-i^i^y\AuJL

Aa/LxSS

/t^^^JuLJ^ Zok^

^^\Artu

The Palimpsest EDITED BY JOHN ELY BRIGGS Issued

Vol. IV

August 1923

in

No. 8

COPYRIGHT 1923 BY THE STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF IOWA

Restorer of Iowa Palimpsests Lo,

"a

great prophet

is

risen

up among us" who

— just Iowa folks

Herbert Quick, has, experience, fullness of and in the middle-aged in Vandemark's Folly and The Hawkey e, sent forth a message unto all the people, teaching them that the record of the generations of Iowa pioneers and frontiersmen who trailed their way over the Old Ridge Road to the Fort Dodge country and who erected the first shelters, scored the wonderful writes of folks

!

prairie sod, established townships, organized county

government, and thus "set a-going" the society of the Commonwealth of Iowa, furnishes all the materials of great literature and every element of great art.

An

artist

and a scholar as well as a prophet and

a teacher, Herbert Quick has with conscientious precision and with keen appreciation of their worth and

dignity reconstructed and restored for us some of the palimpsest records

of

early

Iowa

— already 253

'

THE PALIMPSEST

254

g^o^vn dim with the erasures of time and covered

with the dust of decades. Herbert Quick lays no claim to the title of historian or restorer of palimpsests, but modestly speaks of himself as sitting in the wagon of history with my feet dangling down and facing the rear." And yet it is clear that he knows the road, and knows the people who have developed the country through which it winds from "things as raw and primitive as King Arthur's time" to a "region now and all as completely developed as England" within the memory of men still living! He sees in this record a great achievement, and declares that "there never was such a thing in all the history of the world before. The author himself and his two great books are at once the witness and the evidence of the beginning of things in Iowa "the old, sweet, grand, beautiful things, the things which never can be again." Born in what he calls the Ancient Greek period of midwestern life, when communities were set out as our farmers planted trees, by thrusting the twigs of Cottonwood or willow or Lombardy poplar into the soil" where they were expected to grow, Herbert Quick remembers and understands the part played in the great drama of Iowa both by the generation of Vandem ark's Folly who came "voluntarily" and by the generation of The Hawkey e who were "injected" into the body politic and "never saw anything else save the frontier, but who had spirits and '

'



'



'

'

'

RESTORER OF IOWA PALIMPSESTS

255

from people who lived in the estaband of the South and of the Old World." souls inherited

lished societies of the East

With masterful

with singular beauty of rhythm and march, and again in the picturesque language of the period (for styles in speech, even in Iowa, come and go like the paper collar and the made-up bow tie), Herbert Quick restores the records of life in early Iowa with all

pen,

often with epic

diction,

the skill and fidelity of the classical scholar

who

reconstructs the original writings on old parchments

by deciphering the dim fragments of letters partly erased and partly covered by subsequent texts. And so we hail him as a restorer of Iowa palimpsests.

In Vandemarh's Folly is reconstructed the glowthrobbing story of the journey from the Dubuque Ferry, the gateway to the Land of Promise, over the Old Eidge Eoad, across the great green sea of the Iowa prairie which was ''the newest, strangest, most delightful, sternest, most wonderful thing in the world" to "that holy wedlock which binds the farmer to the soil he tills." Then follows a faithful restoration of the record of that great experiment on the Iowa prairie of "building a democracy based on ponderous production" and of "keeping a people economically free while living an industrial and agricultural life and dependent on ing,





highways made by nature.

'

man

instead of those created by

'

THE PALIMPSEST

256

Here

;!

Vandemark's Folly

restored for all the fire that time the palimpsest of the prairie fire came up from the west like a roaring tornado adin

is



vancing in separate lines and columns and detachments lil^e a burning army. One could see "the flames leap up, reach over, catch in front of the line, kindle a new fire, and again be overleaped by a new tongue of fire, so that the whole line became a belt of flames, and appeared to be rolling along in a huge Sometimes a whole mile or billow of fire so of the line disappeared as the fire burned down into lower ground; and then with a swirl of flame and smoke, the smoke luminous in the glare, it moved magnificently up into sight, rolling like a breaker of fire bursting on a reef of land, buried the hillside in flame, and then whirled on over the top, its streamers flapping against the horizon, snapping off shreds of flame into the air, as triumphantly as a human army taking an enemy fort Here, too, in the same book is found a vivid record

....

;

j

! '

of the raging, howling, shrieking frontier blizzard,

came with a roar and struck but which can never come again with a shiver for ''every object that civilization and development have placed in the way of the wind prevents it." Here is revealed one of the dangers in the life of the pioneer who, lost in two miles of snow between himself and the sun, plunges headlong into the drifts, flounders through them, and finally "cuffed and mauled by the storm" stumbles into a straw stack ' *

the breath of which '

'





\

(

RESTORER OF IOWA PALIMPSESTS

— or sinks into the — buried a victim of the storm. and safety Is

it

soft

257

snow and

is

possible for a people of a later day and a

comprehend the terrors of those Herbert Quick's winter storms of early Iowa? answer is contained in the pages of Vandemarh's friendlier clime to

Follij:

''Then the snow, once lifted on the wings of the became a part of the air, and remained in it. The atmosphere for hundreds of feet, for thousands of feet from the grassy surface of the prairie, was a moving cloud of snow, which fell only as the very tempest itself became over-burdened with it. As the storm continued, it always grew cold for it was the blast,

;

North emptying

"As

itself into the

South.

.

.

.

the tumult grows hills are leveled, and hol-

lows rise into

hills.

oblique Niagara of

Every shed-roof is the edge of an snow every angle the center of a ;

you are caught out in it, the Spirit of at you and loads your eyebrows and eyelashes and hair and beard with icicles and snow. As you look out into the white, the light through your bloodshot eyelids turns everything to crimson. Your feet lag, as the feathery whiteness comes almost to your knees. Your breath comes choked as with water. If you are out far away from shelter,

whirlpool.

the

Storm

God

If

flies

help you!

You

struggle along for a time,

all

the while fearing to believe that the storm which did is growing more violent, and that the daylight, which you thought would last

not seem so very dangerous,

THE PALIMPSEST

258

jj

for hours yet, seems to be fading, and

night

tliat

appears to be setting in earlier than usual. '^ You can not tell, when you try to look about you, what is sky and what is earth for all is storm. You .

.

.

;

feel

more and more

All at once, you find that

tired.

the wind which was at your side a while ago, as you kept beating into it on your course toward help and

your back. Has the wind changed? No; it will blow for hours from the same quarter perhaps for days! No; you have changed your course, and are beating off with the storm! This will never do you rally, and again turn your cheek to the cutting blast but you know that you are off your path yet you wonder if you may not be going if the wind has changed; or if you have not right turned to the left when you should have gone to the shelter, is

now

at



:

:



;

right. *'

Loneliness, anxiety, weariness, uncertainty.

An

awful sense of helplessness takes possession of you. If it were daylight, you could pass around the deep drifts, even in this chaos but now a drift looks the same as the prairie grass swept bare. You plunge headlong into it, flounder through it, creeping on hands and knees, with your face sometimes buried in ;

the snow, get on your feet again, and struggle on. *' You know that the snow, finer than flour, is beat-

ing through your clothing. You are chilled, and Sometimes you stop for a while and with shiver. your hands over your eyes stand stooped with your

back to the wind.

You

try to stamp your feet to

RESTORER OF IOWA PALIMPSESTS

259

warm

them, but the snow, soft and yielding, forbids

this.

You

are so tired that you stop to rest in the



midst of a great drift you turn your face from the driving storm and wait. It seems so much easier than stumbling wearily on. Then comes the inrushing consciousness that to rest thus

is

to die.

You

rush on in a frenzy. You have long since ceased to is your proper course, you only know that you must struggle on. You attempt a shout ah, it seems so faint and distant even to yourself! No one else could hear it a rod in this raging, howling, shrieking storm, in which awful sounds come out of the air itself, and not alone from the things against which it beats. And there is no one else to



think of what

;



hear.

"You

gaze about with snow-smitten eyeballs for

from a friendly window. Why, the sun itself could not pierce this moving earthcloud of snow! Your feet are not so cold as they were. You can not feel them as you walk. You come to a hollow filled with soft snow. Perhaps there is the bed of a stream deep do^vn below. You plunge into this hollow, and as you fall, turn your face from the storm. A strange and delicious sense of warmth and drowsiness steals over you you sink lower, and feel the cold soft whiteness sifting over neck and The cheek and forehead: but you do not care. and in the morning the sun struggle is over

some possible

light

;



;

glints coldly over a

lating alabaster.

new landscape

Yonder

is

a

of gently undu-

little

hillock

which

e

'

THE PALIMPSEST

260

marks the place where the blizzard overtook its prey. Sometinie, when the warm March winds have thawed the snow, some gaunt wolf will snuff about this spot, and send up the long howl that calls the pack to the banquet.

'

Vandemarh's Folly and The Haivkeye literally bulge with palimpsests of pioneer and frontier life

Here are the records of the beginnings of political and social organization; of tragedies and comedies in that strange drama we call self government;" of neighborhood meetings and blacksmith shop conferences where "the first prairie generain Iowa.

'

'

bred of a line of foresters," solved their growing problems just as had the New England farmers

tion,

on the Massachusetts frontier of county politics in a day with the ''court house ring" in control and waxing fat on contracts for bridges that never were built and roads that were never improved. There in Vandemarh's Folly are reconstructed the parties and festivals of 1854 where the ''John Aldens, the Priscillas, the Miles Standishes and the Dorothy Q's" of the frontier assembled in tight fitting corduroys and newly greased boots, in alpacas, delaines, figured lawns and calicoes, and "set a-going as great a society as the Pilgrim Fathers and Pilgrim Mothers the society of the great commonwealth of Iowa." And here in TJie Hawkey ;

later

:

are the fashions that

1874"



"made Beauty

seductive in

hats which were "little affairs, brimless, not half large enough to cover their heads," and

'

KESTORER OF IOWA PALIMPSESTS

261

dresses with skirts sweeping the grass and with bustles, basques,

and polonaises.

Like old albums these books reveal types of the 'heading citizens" in the frontier communities. Here, for example, is the real-estate dealer in his buckboard buggy measuring off the land by the revolving buggy wheel, extolling its virtues as he went, ''no stumps, no stones, just the right amount of rainfall the garden spot of the West without a shadow of doubt the permanent county seat of the best county in Iowa, and that means the best in the known world Here is the frontier doctor who lives above his own



....

! '

drug

store,

and who when called hurries down the

stairs, sets his cases

down on

the sidewalk while he

runs his buggy out of the shed and hitches up his horses, and then dashes off into the night, sometimes in time, sometimes too late to assist the *'Mrs. Williams" or the ''Mrs. Absalom Frosts" to usher into the world a future citizen of the Commonwealth of Iowa. Here is the pioneer preacher "laboring with his text, speaking in a halting manner, and once in a while bogging down in a dead stop out of which he could not pull himself without giving a sort of honk like a wild goose." Here is the first lawyer, just out from Indiana by way of the Ohio and Mississippi, with his "long frock coat originally black, a white shirt, and a black cravat", with "his carpet bag and his law library", which, because "books are damned heavy" and law

"

'

'

THE PALIMPSEST

262

books particularly so, consisted of Blackstone's Co7nmentaries, Chitty on Pleading, the Code of Iowa of 1851, and "the Session Laws of the state so far as it had any session laws." And here is the pioneer editor, thick as thieves with the county ring ''as long as he had the county printing", whose "scurrilous paper" most people said "was never fit to enter a decent home, but which they always subscribed for and read as quick as it '

'

'

came

Here

! '

'

is

the story of love and courtship in

the Neolithic period of

Iowa culture when

accepted order "to git married.

was the married early and stay it

'

Such are the records of V andemarW s Folly and of The Hawkey e. In the pages of these books there is no attempt to glorify the extra legal methods sometimes resorted to in solving the perplexities and difficulties of frontier life, or to speak lightly of the hardships on the Iowa farm in the day of "bleak wastes, robber bands, and savage primitiveness there is no etfort to minimize the perspiring job of the thrasher or the lame back and bleeding hands of the corn husker in a later day when the frontiersman "compromised on a half section" in "the Iowa style"; there is no ignoring the nightmare of the Iowa prairie farmer when "the prospect of money ;

for the mortgage and the doctor's

bill

and the

ac-

count at the store" was destroyed by the "rusting" of the wheat, or the sorrow of the Kate McConkeys who gave up their currant bushes and peonies to

EESTORER OF IOWA PALIMPSESTS try again as ''Leaseholders"; there

is

263

no glossing

over the old political party ''way wise and broke nice", the of the city

money" lars".

"machine" scheming for the domination which was to be, or the days of "easy

for the "court-house ring" and the "regu-

And

yet in the telling of these things by

Herbert Quick there is none of the bitterness which is so often found in the tales of Hamlin Garland dealing with the people and lands to the east and west of the Iowa country; nor is there here any of that sneering cynicism with which Sinclair Lewis a generation later portrays life in the wheat country And because of the absence of the to the north. and the sneer Vandemark's Folly and bitterness The Hawkey e are nearer the truth and will live longer.

nothing finer in all the rapidly accumulating literature of mid-western America than Herbert Quick's tribute to the mothers of the frontiers

There

is

The Hawheye: The mothers of the frontiers They felt the oncoming of another day for their children. No life was so laborious, no situation so unpropitious, no in

'

'

!

poverty so deep that they did not through a divine gift of prophecy see beyond the gloom a better day for their children. In the smoky overheated kitchens, struggling to feed the gangs of harvesters and thrashers, as they washed and mopped and baked '

'

and brewed and spun and wove and Imit and boiled soap and mended and cut and basted and sewed and

'

THE PALIMPSEST

264

strained milk and skimmed cream and cliiirned and worked over butter, catching now and then an opportunity to read while rocking a child to sleep, drink-

ing in once in a while a bit of poetry from the sky or the cloud or the flower they were haloed like suns of ;

progress for their families and for their nation, as they worked and planned and assumed for themall selves a higher and higher culture of its sort



for their children.

We

build

monuments

in the

public square for the soldiers of our wars but where ;

monument for the Kate McConkeys who made possible so much of the good which is represented by the public square itself? Unless it is a monument not made with hands, in our hearts and souls, none can ever exist which can be in any way adequate. Whether the characters and the episodes in Vandemark's Folly and in The Hawheye are drawn from is

the

'

actual history or

names are

from imagination, whether the

real or fictitious, matters not.

Faithfully,

and understandingly the author has used them with a marvelous wealth of detail to tell of the beginnings of a great Commonwealth, and his work must be regarded as a very real contribution conscientiously,

to the literature of tell

the truth

Iowa

history.

—"not the truth of

For these books statistics,

not just

information, but the living truth" about Iowa folks.

They are great books! So broad in their human sympathies, so deep in their penetration of life's realities that they belong to a literature that is universal.

EESTORER OF IOWA PALIMPSESTS

265

Something of the author's own experience and background for the writing of these books may be gleaned from The Hawheye in the story of Fremont the country boy whom Herbert Quick McConkey the boy of the early Iowa knew the best of all farm with the poet's soul longing for self expression. Fed on a diet of ''warmed-over English literature, which Americans who should have known better laid before him", and ''taught by every one in speech and printed page that he is outside the realm of 'material' for literature", he dreamed of a day when he might know first-hand something of "Scottish moors and ruined abbeys ', and of the wonderful world of "Dashing Charlie" and other glorious heroes with which the writers of the New York Weekly seemed so familiar. Steeped in the beauty and wonder of the prairie, and with flashes of realization of the dramatic elements in the shifting, stirring episodes of its rapid transformation, Fremont McConkey had the growBut who ing conviction that he could write, if if. would want to read about Iowa? If this were only a mountain country, or a stern and rock-bound coast, If it were only a land one might make a story of it of clashing shields, or at least a place where judges But what was there in Iowa or in the wore robes Could romance lives of Iowa people for a writer? be found on the prairies, in humble country homes, in fields of wheat and corn, in small towns, in township caucuses, or in county court-houses?



'



'

'

'

'



!

!

!

!

THE PALIMPSEST

266

With an understanding heart and with the authorone who has received the acclaims of popular

ity of

favor as well as the approval of the

critics,

Herbert



Quick answers the Fremont McConkeys the dreamers and poets of Iowa with ''the divine fire in their souls." I KNOW THAT IF THE ARTIST

BORN IN IOWA COULD ONLY BE ALLOWED SUCH A LIFE OF THE SOUL AS WOULD IMPEL HIM TO RESPECT HIS IOWA MATERIALS, AND TO PONDER THEM LONG ENOUGH AND DEEPLY ENOUGH, EVERY ELEMENT OF GREAT ART WOULD BE FOUND HERE. In Vandemark's Folly Uncle Jacob Vandemark calls his story the ''History of

Vandemark Town-

ship"; and in The Hawkey e Fremont McConkey tells us that his story is The History of Monterey County." There are ninety-nine counties in Iowa and some sixteen hundred townships What a field for the restorers of palimpsests and the writers of history! What a field for the "Gertrudes" who "went East to Vassar and joined the Daughters of the American Revolution!" What a field for the "Paul Holbrooks" just back from the State University with ideals of public service "and against the County Ring!" What a field for the schools and colleges What a field for poets and dreamers Herbert Quick, prophet and restorer of Iowa palimpsests, has pointed the way Bertha M. H. Shambaugh '

'

!

!

An Iowa Doone Band About forty years ago there

flourislied, in

the

heavily-wooded fastnesses of the Iowa in Eiver Hardin County, a daring and unscrupulous band of outlaws. Like the famous robber Doones in the tale of ''Lorna Doone", these Iowa desperadoes terrorized the law-abiding people of the community by cunning thievery and bold disturbance of the peace. They held sway not so much by the enormity of their atrocities as by the fear of the crimes they might commit. As the Doones of old England found security in a natural stronghold, so the Rainsbargers of pioneer Iowa made their headquarters in secluded gullies that were seldom visited by others than their clan. Their remote cabins, half concealed by the trees and the semi-gloom of the deep hollows, could be reached only by lonely byways that led through thick woods and along the edges of dark, sheer-cut ravines. Even to-day the dense underbrush grows so close to the road that it scrapes the sides of a passing vehicle, and the heavy gold of autumn sunlight that pours through the crimson sumach leaves quickly fades to mufifling dusk in mid-afternoon. In the early eighties only the most daring men ever ventured upon a night ride through this section of the rugged,

country. 267

THE PALIMPSEST

268

A

is told of an Ackley doctor who was visstormy night by a stranger who begged him to attend a sick woman, requesting, however, that

story

ited one

the

doctor

consent

to

follow

him

blindfolded.

accompanied his guide to a squalid home where the family lived in apparent poverty. He refrained from asking for his services a charge which evidently could not be met, but the man paid him liberally from a large roll of soiled bills. A few days later, when the doctor returned to see his patient, searching out the cabin by an obscure path, he found the house

Persuaded by the man's

distress, the doctor

Shortly afterward, a rumor was circulated that a band of stolen horses which had been secreted in the caves among the hills had just been sent down the river, and that the thieves with the deserted.

proceeds of this sale had decamped. In this secluded river country the scene of this Ever since the Eainsbargers held story is laid. sway there the inaccessible region has maintained

To this day the steep oaks and scattered with wooded slopes, birch, and the winding river walled in by a heavy growth of cottonwoods and grapevine tangles, which formed the setting for a tragic incident in the big drama of the Middle West, remain unchanged its

mysterious privacy. thickly



inescapably suggestive of the Rainsbarger bandits and the outlaw Doones. William, The entire family of Eainsbargers



Finley, Frank, Nathan, and

Emmanuel; and WH-

AN IOWA DOONE BAND liam's boys, George, Joe, and

Jokn

269

— were

all re-

puted to be fearless freebooters. Their reputation for high-handed misconduct invited accusation of every crime committed in the neighborhood sometimes perhaps unjustly. They were charged with such malicious offenses as cutting off cows' tails and hamstringing horses. They were said to steal cattle and horses and dispose of them at markets down the river. Sometimes stock was poisoned or



brazenly driven off before the eyes of the helpless owner. farmer declared that one day as he was picking corn, Fin Eainsbarger drove into the field,

A

wagon with corn, and calmly departed. The outlaws had learned that it was safe to rely upon their reputations to prevent resistance. The most generally hated and feared of the Eainsbarger family was Fin. He was more than a robber. On a winter evening of 1866 in the town of Steamboat Rock he had stabbed and killed a man during a quarrel the first murder committed in Hardin County. Those who witnessed the deed said that the victim, Charles Voiles, was intoxicated at the time, that he threatened Eainsbarger and his brother-in-law, Henry Johns, and finally struck a loaded his



drunken blow.

Like a

flash,

before anyone could

intervene, the tawny-haired Eainsbarger drove a

butcher knife into the man's heart. Convicted of manslaughter, in spite of the best efforts of his attorney, H. L. Huff, he was sentenced to the penitentiary for six years; but at the end of thirteen

THE PALIMPSEST

270

months he was pardoned because it was claimed that he had acted in self-defense. Later he was known to have been associated with several notorious outlaws, among whom was Enoch Johnson, the renegade father-in-law of Frank Eainsbarger. Some of the Eainsbargers, however, were said to be hard-working men, who had never been arrested or indicted for any crime or misdemeanor". William was president of the school board in his township for a number of years. Probably other men of questionable character were guilty of some of the '

'

charged against the Eainsbargers, but the peocommunity believed, and are still convinced, that the Eainsbargers were a family of criminals and villains who were chiefly responsible evil

ple of the

for the lawless reign of the eighties.

The score

of

petty molestations attributed to them prepared the way for a reckoning when an offense audacious

enough to arouse the whole community demanded amends. The public was ready and eager to convict the Eainsbargers as the embodiment of all the crime in Hardin County. In the early eighties a counterfeiting scheme was instituted into which were drawn many people, both Enoch Johnson bereputable and disreputable. came an active member of the gang. It was his business to transfer the money made in Steamboat Eock to a confederate outside the State. He was finally apprehended, however, with a box of the money in his possession, arrested by Federal officers,

AN IOWA DOONE BAND

271

and indicted by a grand jury of which Henry Johns was foreman. Frank Rainsbarger, at the entreaty of his wife, Nettie, went bail for the temporary release of his father-in-law.

There was

joy in Enoch Johnson's homecoming, however, for he discovered that his wife,

Mag, had

little

sold their household goods during his

The two immediately quarrelled, and Johnson went to live with Frank and Nettie. He urged his son-in-law and Nathan Rainsbarger, detention in

who made

jail.

home with Frank, to take out insurlife. Mag Johnson was the beneficiary

his

ance on his

more than one such policy already, Johnson carsome insurance in favor of Nettie, and Frank was induced to secure a five thousand dollar policy, of

ried

payable jointly to himself and wife. Of course Johnson was not the only counterfeiter in the county. As soon as he was indicted efforts were made to persuade him to turn state's evidence

The identity of other parties to the fraud was a mystery but there was reason to suspect that the Rainsbargers were implicated more or less directly. It was hinted that perhaps a threat from Johnson to expose those as guilty as himself had been the most effective inducement for Frank to furnish bail. Yet the fact that Henry Johns, a relative of the Rainsbargers, took the lead in trying to expose the counterfeiters would seem to indicate that the Rainsbargers were not but maybe Johns did members of the bogus gang against his confederates.



THE PALIMPSEST

272

not

know what

lie

was about. There is also a story Johnson was at liberty on

to the effect that while

bail he quarrelled with the chief of the counterfeit-

ers who, fearing disclosure of the scheme, promised

Johnson that if he peached there would not be enough left of him to feed the crows.

On

evening of November 18, 1884, while from Steamboat Rock toward Gifford, Enoch Johnson was killed. When he was found, the

driving

within a mile of Gifford, appearances indicated that there had been a breakdown which shattered his buggy and that afterward he had attempted to ride his horse but had been thrown and dragged for some distance. His body lay about a quarter of a mile from the buggy, the lines were wrapped around one leg, and his clothes were pulled over his head. There was blood on the horse's withers. The following morning Mag Johnson arrived unexpectedly at the home of Frank and Nettie Rainsbarger. She had gone to Ackley the day before, where she spent the night at the Revere House with Joshua West. About noon she received a telegram from West stating that her husband had met with an accident and was dead. She showed neither surprise nor sorrow at the news.

At

first

the

opinion prevailed that Johnson's

death was accidental, but at the coroner's inquest several suspicious circumstances were revealed which pointed to foul play. Two days after Johnson

was

killed the sheriff,

W.

V. Willcox, and the coro-

AN IOWA DOONE BAND ner, Dr.

Myron Underwood,

273

visited the scene of the

tragedy and found where a single horse had been hitched at the head of a ravine about sixty-five rods from the broken buggy; a few feet away the grass was trampled down and spattered with blood; the buggy had not moved after the wheel broke do^vn; and a post mortem examination revealed that the victim's head had been fractured on both sides, which could scarcely have been accomplished by a fall from his horse. The coroner's jury decided that "Enoch Johnson came to his death by blows inflicted upon the head by some blunt instrument in the hands of some person or persons unknown". So the matter stood. No arrests were made and Frank and Nettie Rainsbarger took steps to obtain their life insurance. Several times during the following weeks Mag Johnson came to visit her daughter and, after repeated persuasion, took her to Eldora where they made affidavits, on the strength of which Frank and Nate Rainsbarger were arrested and charged with the murder of Enoch Johnson. Shortly after the preliminary hearing, Henry Johns publicly declared his conviction that the two

men were

not guilty.

He was

sure that Johnson

had been murdered to prevent him from exposing *'I will stay by you the gang of counterfeiters. real culprits are cleared and the imtil you are brought to justice," he is reported to have promised Nate and Frank, ''if it costs fifty thousand dollars." The prisoners were bound over to appear at the

THE PALIMPSEST

274

next term of the district court which would convene late in April, 1885.

On

the night of April 16th, while driving

home

from Abbott

Station, Johns himself was shot and injured so that he died within three weeks. He recognized several of his assailants and made a

sworn statement of their names before he died. This statement was filed, without having been made public, in the office of the county clerk at Eldora, but it was taken from the files and could never be found. Perhaps the complete solution of the whole mystery was thereby lost forever. It is significant that no one was ever indicted for the murder of Henry Johns. Though Governor William Larrabee, nearly four years afterward, offered a five hundred dollar reward for the conviction of the guilty persons the bounty was never claimed. Meanwhile the Eainsbargers had secured a change of venue to Marshall County and Nate's trial was set for December 28th. Great excitement prevailed in Hardin County. Counterfeiting frauds were for-

gotten while the counterfeiters undertook to allay suspicion of themselves by joining noisily with the

outraged citizens to revenge the murder of Johnson to exterminate the criminal element in the county. To that end a vigilance society was organized and thereafter the exploits of the vig-

and Johns and

ilantes rivaled the notoriety of the outlaws.

On the night of June 3rd Dr. Underwood, who as coroner had incurred the enmity of the Rains-

AN IOWA DOONE BAND

275

was attacked by three or four masked men on a lonely road near the Iowa River. Several shots were fired and one bullet passed through the docHe returned the fire. Just then two tor's coat. buggies drove up. Surprised at the sudden arrival of reinforcements the desperadoes disappeared down a ravine. The next day warrants were issued for the arrest of Ed Johns and William, Fin, and Manse Rainsbarger. Johns could not be found, William Rainsbarger Avas released on bail, while bargers,

Fin and Manse were locked in the Eldora jail. Thoroughly incensed by the series of murders and assaults that had occurred, impatient with the delay and uncertainty of judicial proceedings, and determined to inspire terror among evildoers by a striking example of sure retribution, a mob, led no doubt by the vigilantes, gathered that night near Eldora, deliberately entered the town, battered open the jail with a huge tree trunk, and attacked the two Rainsbargers.

was shot

They

in his cell

resisted desperately.

but Fin fought his

the door, only to die at the hands of Then the lynchers dispersed side.

leaving the bodies of the two

yard riddled with bullets the eyes of the curious

men

—a

Manse

way through the mob outunmolested,

lying in the jail

gruesome sight for the next morning

who came

to see them.

The case charging William Rainsbarger and Ed Johns with the crime for which their alleged accomplices were lynched was finally dismissed in 1889

276

THE PALIMPSEST

because there was not enough evidence against them to justify further prosecution. A sworn statement has since been made that the whole affair was planned and executed by the vigilance society, of

\

which many prominent citizens were members, for the very purpose of arousing the public to rid the county of the Rainsbargers. It was a little over a year after the murder of Enoch Johnson that Nate Rainsbarger was brought to trial. Of medium height and powerful physique, his hair black and abundant, and his eyes dark and piercing, he seemed none the worse for his long confinement as he sat with his attorneys calmly confronting the prosecution led by H. L. Huff, the man who had defended his brother against a charge of

murder twenty years before. 1 The State began with the testimony of Dr. N. C. Morse, corroborated by Dr. Underwood, that the murdered man had died from wounds inflicted upon wounds his head before he fell from the horse which might have been made by brass knuckles in the hands of a powerful man. A witness was found who had heard screams in the vicinity of the tragedy between eight and nine o 'clock on the fatal evening. Others claimed to have seen Nate and Frank Rainsbarger, identified by the light of a bonfire, as they



drove south through Eldora about an hour before the screams were heard on the Grifford road. One man asserted that he had overheard the Rainsbargers plotting to put Johnson out of the way.

1

AN IOWA DOONE BAND

277

i Against this purely circumstantial evidence the defense undertook to prove an alibi. The Rainsbargers secured witnesses who had seen them in

from Eldora, as late as seven and others, mostly relatives, who confirmed the declaration of Nate and Frank that after leaving Cleves they had collected some money from a neighbor for thrashing, had stopped at the Johns place, had later called on their brother Fin to get him to help husk corn, and had finally reached home after eleven o'clock. It was a Cleves, about ten miles o'clock on the

day

of the murder,

story but the prosecution immediately introduced testimony impeaching the reputation of the defense witnesses for truth and veracity.

plausible

Day

after day, as the trial continued, sentiment

against the defendant increased, and the popular

opinion that the Rainsbargers were guilty became

more and more firmly

established.

It

was for Nettie

Rainsbarger, sister-in-law of the accused, to contribute the most damaging evidence of all. Pretty, ladylike, and composed, she made a very favorable impression despite her ill repute as she described the dramatic events on the morning following the

murder. ** Mercy sakes, Nate, where did you get that blood?" she recalled having exclaimed. Nate grabbed the lapel of his coat, she related, and drew *'It is not blood; it is water it over the blood spot. or horse slobbers ', he said as he rushed out of the room. Later she found blood on her husband's overcoat and mittens: it stained her finger when '

THE PALIMPSEST

278

she touched the spots. Then she remembered that Frank had taken his brass knuckles when he started for Cleves the previous afternoon.

When

she ac-

cused the men of murdering her father they became very irritated and tried to make her believe that the horse had killed him. The trial lasted fourteen days. On January 13, 1886, the jury returned a verdict of murder in the first degree and recommended a sentence of imprisonment for life. During the months that followed while Frank and the one Nate lay in the Marshall County jail awaiting trial and the other an appeal to the Suvarious untoward events continued preme Court to agitate the people of Hardin County. Joe Rains-





barger was indicted and later he was convicted of malicious mischief in shooting out the eyes of cattle owned by a neighbor. While that case was pending he was arrested for shooting at a man. Released on five hundred dollars bail he was eventually convicted and served ten months in jail. In April his father and Ed Johns were indicted for the attack on Dr. Underwood, who had become State Senator in the meantime. During the summer the Eldora jail was again mobbed by the vigilantes, but this time the marshal succeeded in dispersing the mob. In September a man who stayed with Mrs. Fin Rainsbarger Avas chased out of the county for stealing a horse.

Frank Rainsbarger was put on

trial for the

mur-

AN IOWA DOONE BAND

279

der of Enoch Johnson in February, 1887, and was March 10th, Five days later he entered the penitentiary at Anamosa under a life sentence. convicted on

While Frank's trial was in progress the Supreme Court reversed the decision by which Nate had been convicted, because Nettie Rainsbarger had been allowed to testify as to his bad character and the commission of crimes for which he was not on trial. He was retried in November, again convicted, and followed his brother into the penitentiary on December 10, 1887.

Meanwhile William, Joe, George, and John Rainsbarger were arrested for assaulting a man who had testified against Joe in a recent trial. They narrowly escaped being lynched and were taken to Marshalltown for protection. Two months later they were acquitted. It was nearly twenty-eight years after Nate and Frank entered the penitentiary when the door of the prison swung open and the two men, white haired and prison-paled, once more breathed the air of freedom and walked into the sunlight not striped with the shadows of prison bars. For more than a quarter of a century they had borne the stigma of convicts, during all that time they had steadfastly maintained that they were tricked into prison to protect the real murderer, and by their good conduct they had convinced the prison officials of their innocence. As the years passed the desire to avenge the death of their mob-murdered brothers and to

280

THE PALIMPSEST

punisli the people responsible for their

own

impris-

onment had grown upon them. Now, as old men, Not quite. Their liberty was contingent upon their not intimidating ''by word or threat any of those who were instrumental in their conviction" or who had "opposed their release in past years." They have never violated that pledge. Frank found employment with a construction company in Ackley and Nate went to work in a Marshalltown factory. This is Iowa's Doone story. In vivid contrast to the lawless, counterfeiting days, peace and order now prevail in Hardin County and the turbulence of the eighties is only a dim tradition. And yet, in a narrow valley between the folds of two hills, where the country road is steep and tortuous and the bridges are old and rickety, a forgotten relic of the they were free.

may

be seen. There, half concealed by the cottonwoods and underbrush, is an The thatched roof over a old dilapidated stable.

horse-stealing days

small dugout slopes

still

down from

the side of the

hill

and is supported by two growing trees. The door hangs by its rusty padlock but swings free from the broken hinges, and inside an old-fashioned sofa, with the twisted springs protruding, and the shell of a blue water pail evidence the necessities of an outlaw stable guard. JocELYN Wallace

_

I

Comment by

the Editor

HISTORICAL. FICTIOIT

Historical fiction is a paradox on the face of it. History can not be fictitious or it ceases to be history. Yet probably no historian has ever succeeded in telling the whole truth. Some facts in the annals of mankind are unkno^vn and thousands of others are necessarily suppressed for lack of space if for no better reason. On the other hand the writers of fiction have seldom if ever succeeded in eliminating the elements of time and place. Perhaps an exception should be made of some of Poe's stories, but a novel without a setting is inconceivable. The fidelity with which the novelist portrays the historical background is to a large extent the measure of the reality of the tale, while disregard for the facts of time and place is the highway to fairy-land



and fantasy.

Where

is the boundary line between the realms of and fancy? It is not always easy to locate, but the best guide seems to be the purpose of the writer. The historian should be judged by historical standards, while the novelist may be permitted to ** throw the graces of fiction over the sharp, hard facts that historians have labouriously gathered", as Gertrude Atherton admits she did in The Conqueror. A

fact

281

THE PALIMPSEST

282

novel should never be treated as history, for

its

ob-

ject is not to teach facts bat to picture life artistically.

Fiction should be judged only as literature.

THE KESPONSIBILITY OF NOVELISTS While it would be absurd to depend upon the Waverley novels for a true conception of medieval England or to study the Civil War in The Crisis, there is no denying that such books have served to vitalize the times with which they deal. The manners and customs of people form the warp and woof of the literary fabric: the plot is only the pattern.

The

setting of a novel conscientiously

characters portrayed true to type

may

drawn and contribute a

clear understanding of folks and things as they were; but let the book be carelessly written and a false impression is made which history can never correct. The vivid imagery of a novel can not be erased at will and supplanted by the dimly remembered and unrelated facts of formal history. It behooves the writers of fiction to have a care for the injustice they may do to the past and the harm they may cause in the present. Abbie Gardner Sharp maintained that the Spirit Lake Massacre might never have occurred if her mother had not obtained an erroneous notion of Indian character from reading "so much of James Fenimore Cooper down there in New York". If her faith in the honor of savages had been founded on facts she would not have prevailed on her husband to admit Inkpaduta's

COMMENT BY THE EDITOR

283

Indians into the cabin on that fateful evening in

March, 1857.

Whether or not resistance would have

materially altered the course of events

but the incident

is

is a question, a striking illustration of the pow-

erful influence of fiction.

THE EEALISM OF HERBERT QUICK

Few novelists have been more faithful to facts than Herbert Quick in TJie Hawkey e. The characters are essentially true to type, the conversation is replete with half -forgotten colloquial expressions of the past generation, and the splendid descriptions are vivid because they are real. Some critics will say there are too many pages of color and complain of the leisurely digressions, but those

Iowa

as

it

was

who remember

in the seventies will revel in the remi-

niscent descriptions of thrashing and corn husking, of gopher snaring

and prairie chicken shooting, and

Fourth of July celebrations in the days of horses and buggies. The novel is redolent of the prairies and the people of Iowa fifty years ago. Therein is of

the

charm

of the book.

Convinced of the elements of great art in Iowa materials, Mr. Quick has found it unnecessary to distort the facts for the sake of sensational circum-

Many

years ago he investigated the system of political ''boodle" in stances or dramatic episodes.

Woodbury County and

discovered,

among

other

ir-

regularities, that in ''some cases the approaches to

bridges were built and charged twice, once to the

THE PALIMPSEST

284

road fund and once to the bridge fund. The man did the work got one payment and the grafters Compare that commentary with this got the other. from The Eawheye: "Paul read the statement of a man who had at the request of a county supervisor, put in duplicate bills for making approaches to bridges, one bill in each case against the bridgefund for the supervisor and another against the The Monterey County road-fund for himself." ''Ring" is no myth. The terrific climax of the book, describing the lynching of Pitt and Bowie Bushyager, is a remarkably accurate accoimt of what actually happened to Manse and Fin Rainsbarger in Eldora on the night of June 4, 1885. The Bushyagers of The Haivheye are unmistakably the Rainsbargers of reality whose true history may be read in the story of ''An Iowa

who

'

'

Doone Band". The Haivheye

is epical.

J. E. B.

The Early ibiAmns „*%",

5-.-''.

--

^85

^

;

ClEp, F. RbBESQN^:

'-:.^

^A Pioneer Jburniey #1 - .-^ ^^ J, M.

EuiiSows;

If.

,

^

Bridging the Cedar

Comment

321 THEEoitbR

Published Monthly At IowaCitt By

IHE SiMe HBfORiCAf SoIiEIYofIOWA ^^^

^gs«^4^*ftfe ^^«'? !

ai

tj.jj

i«^

fei<=

INTERED AS SECOND CLASS MATTER JULY 28 1920 AT THE POST OFFICE AT IOWA CITT IOWA UNDER THE ACT OF AU6UST 24 1912

THE PURPOSE OF THIS MAGAZINE The Palimpsest,

issued monthly

by the

State His-

devoted to the dissemination of Iowa History. Supplementing the other publications of this Society, it aims to present the materials of Iowa History in a form that is attractive and a style that is popular in the best sense to the end that the story of our Commonwealth may be more widely read torical Society of Iowa, is



and cherished. BENJ. F.

Shambaugh Superintendent

THE MEANING OF PALIMPSESTS materials from

were parchments or other which one or more writings had been

erased to give

room

In early times palimpsests

But the eras-

for later records.

ures were not always complete;

and so

it

became the

fascinating task of scholars not only to translate the later records but also to reconstruct the original writ-

ings

by deciphering the dim fragments

of letters partly

erased and partly covered by subsequent

The

history of

Iowa may be likened

texts.

to a palimpsest

which holds the records of successive generations. To decipher these records of the past, reconstruct them, tell the stories which they contain is the task of those w^ho write history.

and

PRICE

— 10c per copy:

ADDRESS—The

$1 per year: free to members of Society State Historical Society Iowa City Iowa

The Palimpsest EDITED BY JOHN ELY BRIGGS Issued

Vol. IV

in

September 1923

No. 9

COPYRIGHT 1923 BY THE STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF IOWA

The Early lowans The

advisability of dividing the Territory of Wis-

was being Eepresenta-

consin and erecting the Territory of Iowa

discussed in Congress on June

5,

1838.

Shepard of North Carolina, who seemed to be the leader of the opposition, was skeptical of the necessity for a new Territory and out of sympathy with the whole westward movement. Indeed, he was of the opinion that the desire for a new government west of the Mississippi came chiefly from those who wanted to speculate in the ''fresh and rich" lands of the region, and from politicians who favored the creation of " a batch of new offices tive Charles

'

'.

But in any event, since Mr. Shepard felt constrained to give the project his most "zealous opposition", some of his statements may with propriety be quoted as reflecting views relative to the character of the

early settlers of Iowa.

"But who fied

are these", he asked, "that are dissatis-

with our legislation, and pray for the establish285

"

THE PALIMPSEST

286

ment of a new Territory? Individuals who have lefti their own homes, and seized on the public land. As soon as Black Hawk and his warriors were driven from their hunting grounds, before the country was surveyed or a land office opened, these men pounced on the choicest spots, cut down the timber, houses, and cultivated the soil as

property."

He

if it

pointed out that,

was '^

builtl

their owni

without

the;:

authority of law, and in defiance of the Government, they have taken possession of what belongs to the

They were the

whole nation".

"who

people, he continued,

require a governor and council, judges, and

marshals,

when every

to justice,

and every petition which they make

act of their lives is contrary

evidence of their guilt and violence.

is

an

We, who are

whose authority is trampled under foot, are asked for new favors and privileges the makers and guardians of the law are approached by its open contemners, and begged to erect these modest gentlemen into a dignified Government. The gravity and insolence of this application would excite laughter, if the last ten years had not presented too many instances of a like spirit and character individuals and masses of people in every part of this favored country begin to look beyond the law, to despise the

insulted,

;

;

constituted authorities, to consider their

own

feel-

ings and passions as the standard of public duty,

and too often men

in high places

have connived at

their proceedings.

The manner

in

which new sovereignties were

ere-

j

THE EARLY lOWANS

I

287

ated was also described.

''These poachers take the public land, and humbly pray for the right of preemption; this yielded, they call the Government a step-mother, and

demand various grants and

im-

munities then they force themselves into the Union, without complying with the act of Congress, and, reaching the climax of impudence, they boldly threaten to deprive the old States of all share in the national domain. But we are asked, what must be done I Twenty thousand people are living on the west side of the Mississippi, and the whole army of the United States could not drive them from their ;

settlements."

Mr. Shepard was prophetic in his declaration that ''the Territory of Iowa be now established, it will soon become a State; if we now cross the Mississippi, under the bountiful patronage of this Government, the cupidity and enterprise of our people will carry the system still further, and ere long the Rocky Mountains will be scaled, and the valley of the Columbia be embraced in our dominion. This, then, is the time to pause, to gather the results of previous if

experience, and to consider the influence of this legislation on the character of the people

and the

durability of our institutions."

The establishment of the new Territory was also emphatically opposed by John C. Calhoun in the Senate, who, like Representative Shepard, saw the



more free matter from the sectional point of view States were not desired when the balance of power

'

288

THE PALIMPSEST

was already against the South. Mr. Calhoun had heard that ''the loway country had been already seized on by a lawless body of armed men, who had parcelled out the whole region, and had entered into w^ritten stipulations to stand by and protect each other, and who were actually exercising the rights of ownership and sovereignty over it permitting none to settle without their leave, and exacting more for the license to settle, than the Government does



for the land

itself.

'

Henry Clay of Kentucky was of a similar opinion, based largely upon the field notes of the surveyors of the Black Hawk Purchase who stated that the land was generally settled by armed intruders," and that their progress in the work was materially hindered *

'

''by the opposition and threats of this description of

Mr. Clay waxed sarcastic, declaring that were members in both houses who were ready to pronounce that "a more honest, persons."

in all probability there

deserving set of men," did not exist: these men who openly flouted authority and "whose moral sense would be violated by an enforcement" of the law. As for himself he would like to know what "pretence had these lawless

men

for roving about the

country and seizing by violence on the choicest spots

land?" Mr. Clay desired that these lands be offered for sale and then if necessary the existing laws should be enforced. If need be he favored the removal of "these lawless intruders from the property they of

'

THE EARLY lOWANS

289

have forcibly appropriated to their own use. What right had they to the public domain more than any other description of plunderers to the goods they may seize upon I" Since they ''are honest, industrious men, who are unable to give the real value for the goods, they have taken this natural and harmless method of getting possession of them." Not all in Congress, however, were of the same mind. The opposition to the creation of the Territory of Iowa and the passage of the Preemption Act was easily overcome in both houses, the true character of the pioneers being too well

known

for

much

credence to be placed in the caustic remarks of southern statesmen. One of the most ardent supporters of the Iowa settlers

was Senator Lucius Lyon

of Michigan

who

was familiar with conditions in the Iowa country and knew the workings of the claim associations in his own State. He was too well impressed with the character of the Iowa settlers ''to believe, for a moment, that any person going there with the intention of becoming an actual settler in the country would be treated badly by those who had gone before him.

'

Senator Clement C. Clay of Alabama also took who maligned the settlers of the criticized the Senator from severely He West. issue with those

Kentucky for picking out "some

isolated cases of

alleged resistance to the public officers,

vast

number

of those

who had

settled

among

the

on the public

THE PALIMPSEST

290

domain

'

'.

Indeed, he was of the opinion that

single individual, or even a dozen of them, in

if

* *

a

loway

or Wisconsin, should manifest any hostility to the

Government"

officers of the

it

was

insufficient rea-

son for withholding the benefits of the preemption from the thousands of industrious and meritorious claimants". The early settlers of Iowa were not only maligned probably for political reasons by Congressmen but also by others who had less opportunity of knowing their real character. Charles Augustus Murray, a noted English traveller, wrote in 1835 that Keokuk was "the lowest and most blackguard place" that he had visited. Its population was said to be composed bill

'

'





watermen who were *'a coarse and ferocious caricature of the London bargemen, and their chief occupation" seemed to consist in ''drinking, fighting, and gambling". It seems that one of the residents was rather proud of having shot an Indian, saying that he would as soon shoot an Indian as a fox or an otter." The Englishman summed up the matter by remarking that this ''murderer is called a Christian, and his victim a heathen". At Dubuque the barroom "was crowded with a parcel of blackguard noisy miners", from whom the most experichiefly of

'

'

enced blasphemers might have taken a lesson. It may be remarked, however, that the true character of a people can scarcely be studied with accuracy by viewing the denizens of public drinking places. Drinking in those early days was not considered

'

I

THE EARLY lOWANS

291

an offense against society. As one writer put it, the ''early settlers in Iowa, as well as in other Territories, drank a great deal of liquor. On the way to weddings, house raisings, and other gatherings, the bottle was passed liberally, and was used frequently during the ensuing program. "With the advance of civilization the custom became less prevalent."

When

the fierce heat of the

summer had produced

an abundance of malaria, ague, chills, and fever the of the pioneer was indeed miserable. Cure-alls, however, were usually at hand. ''Quinine was the standard medicine of the pioneer household for every kno^vn ailment, except rattle-snake bites, which called for whisky in generous doses. A family could get along very well without butter, wheat bread, sugar or tea, but whisky was as indispensable to house-keeping as corn meal, bacon, coffee, tobacco, and molasses." It was said that upon one occasion an old settler ran out of this essential in the family commissary department, and walked ten miles to borrow a new supply from a good old deacon. But the deacon was short on "groceries" himself, as there had recently been a wedding in the family. He was "powerful sorry" that he could not fill his neighbor's jug "but you see", said he, "I have only got a gallon left, and you know that won't any more than run our prayer meeting Wednesday night. Perhaps a more trustworthy picture of the early pioneers may be gained from a description of their life



'

THE PALIMPSEST

292

which reveal men of strong character and a law-abiding nature. It is true that the usual fronhorse-stealing, murder, and countertier crimes Early feiting existed, but not with tolerance. Iowa history is replete with accounts of popular opposition to such offenses, even prior to the establishment of a well organized government. The pioneers of Iowa possessed an inherent talent activities





for constitutional government, though extralegal methods were sometimes employed to obtain it. Those ''blackguard" miners of Dubuque as early as 1830 appointed a committee of five to draft the rules and regulations under which they were to be governed. The meeting of these committeemen may be called our first constitutional convention. Furthermore, the formation of hundreds of land clubs or! claim associations bespeaks the early settler's de-| sire for law and order: the desire for peace audi orderly procedures even if he had to fight for them. These claim associations appear to have been very> effective in preventing any serious trouble in the^i matter of claim-jumping, although some rather tense:^ situations were produced. Following the removal of the Indians in 1833, hundreds of settlers immediately flocked into the Iowa country and while each ii

him best, the new arrivals most instances respected the premises of those who had preceded. What constituted a claim was? selected a place that suited

in

'

'

'

'

generally understood and, although the region was; not legally open to settlement, ''a claim to a farm,

"

The early iowans was held

293

good for the time being, "as if the occupant had the Government patent for it." The emigrant came into the country, looked around him, and, selecting a location regularly established"

to be just as

that pleased him, he staked out his half section of

woodland and the other prairie. The prospective settler then went to work, built a house, fenced, plowed, and planted a piece of ground, and his home was "secure from trespass by any one whatever, until the Government shall think proper to prefer its claims. The early settlers were not greedy they merely asked of the government that they be allowed to buy part of a section at the regular price of $1.25 an acre without having it exposed to public sale. This privilege has been considered as justly due to the land, one quarter section probably being



'

'

settler, in

consideration of the increased value given

to other lands

around him,

at the expense of great

The pioneers did not claim the "privilege of thus buying unreasonably large bodies of land;" only asking "to have extended to them the same advantages as have been toil

and privation

to himself.

'

'

If more than was desired they were

pioneers before them".

granted to

all

the usual

amount

of land

ready to compete for it in the open market. Lieutenant Albert M. Lea's Notes on Wisconsin Territory, published in 1836, vividly describes condi-

"Iowa District". He wrote of the groves of oak, elm, and walnut, "half shading half concealing ', the neat hewed log cabins of the emi-

tions in the

'

'

'

'

'

'

THE PALIMPSEST

294

,

grants with their fields prairies,

stretching

far

into

the

where their herds are luxuriating on the

In discussing the character of the early settlers he remarked that it was "such as is rarely to be found in our newly acquired territories.

native grass".

With very few

exceptions, there

not a more or-

is

derly, industrious, active, pains-taking population

west of the Alleghenies, than is this of the Iowa District. Those who have been accustomed to associate the name of Squatter with the idea of idleness

and recklessness, would be quite surprised to see the systematic manner in which everything is here conducted. For intelligence, I boldly assert that they are not surpassed, as a body, by any equal number of citizens of any country in the world. As to the early inhabitants of Dubuque, Lieutenant Lea and Mr. Murray paint entirely different pictures, though both wrote of conditions as they appeared in the summer of 1835. Indeed, Lea seems to have been much surprised that in a mining region, '

"there should be so little of the recklessness" usually found in that sort of life. "Here is a mixed mass of English, French, German, Irish, Scotch, and citizens of every part of the United States," he wrote, "each steadily pursuing his O'svn business without interrupting his neighbour. '

Lea was

of the opinion that this state of affairs

might be "attributed to the preponderance of wellinformed and well-intentioned gentlemen among them, as well as to the disposition of the mass of

THE EARLY lOWANS

295

people." In some of the older migrations it was the "reckless in character, the desperate in fortune, or the bold hunter, that sought concealment, wealth or game". But as far as the Iowa country was concerned,

it

was

* '

the virtuous, the intelligent, and the

wealthy" that sought a congenial abode for themselves and posterity.

The law-abiding character of the early pioneers is also illustrated by the organization of a mutual protection association among the residents of Burlington in 1833. They resolved that any person allowing the Indians to have whisky should forfeit

all

the

whisky he had on hand, and likewise the confidence and protection of the association. It was also "Resolved; That any person harboring or protecting a refugee who, to evade justice, has fled from the other sections of the Union, shall be delivered with

such refugee on the other side of the river." Those were stern days and severe measures were required in a region where regular governmental machinery

was lacking. The regard of the first settlers for religion is evidenced by early writings. In a little guide book on Iowa Territory compiled by Willard Barrows, a deputy United States Surveyor, and published in 1845, the author called attention to the fact that

although "the peaceful sabbath bell" is not heard, is here, and its benign influence is felt in every hamlet and cottage throughout this new

yet "the sabbath

and flourishing country."

"While the costly "edi-

'

THE PALIMPSEST

296

those which adorn our Eastern cities" are

fices, like

not to be found, yet

' '

in aknost every village is seen

the humble temple, consecrated to the worship of

Almighty God." Not only were the early lowans law-abiding and religious but they admirably combined those attriThe rapid butes with intelligence and industry. development of the new region was unusual. One writer was positive "that the annals of history have never been able to record a more rapid progress of settlement than here exhibited; and that, too, with It was equal intelligence, industry, and enterprise. but yesterday thaf our settlements were confined to the narrow limits along the borders of the Mississippi river; but to-day we behold the newly reared cabin and cultivated fields for a hundred miles in the interior. But j^esterday, the war-whoop and scalping-knife were the terrors of the land; but to-day, there is peace in all our borders, and the industrious farmer feeds his sheep, where the wild deer lay in his covert; and to the nightly howl of the proAvling wolf, has succeeded the familiar bark of the faithful ;

'

'

house-dog.

'

Iowa counted many Europeans among their number. Of the 192,214 inhabitants as recorded by the census of 1850, nearly 21,000 were of foreign birth and of this number over one-half were

The pioneers

;

of



English-speaking Irish, English, Welsh, Scotch, and Canadian. In some instances colonies of Germans, French, Hollanders, Hungarians, British, and

THE EARLY lOWANS

297

little communities by themEarly in 1840, for example, a small group of Norwegians settled on Sugar Creek, about twelve miles northwest of Keokuk. There is a statement on record that one of the party '' traded an old breech loading musket for a quarter section of land" while another secured an equal area for a yoke of oxen, ''and thus the first Norwegian settlement in Iowa was founded." Such men as these were in truth the makers of Iowa. They found the vast plains a wilderness, and left them a veritable garden; they brought no inheritance other than strong arms and willing hearts. Some of them were extremely religious, others decidedly atheistic; yet they had this in common perseverance and daring. Possessed of a ''faith in themselves and in the country which they had selected" from choice and not from necessity, "they

Scandinavians settled in

selves.



set to

work building

their log cabins, clearing the

and year by year they saw timber and tilling the their small earnings increase". Their acres multiplied and their log cabins were soon given up for soil,

larger and

more commodious houses.

Mrs. Frances D. Gage visited Iowa in the summer of 1854 and contributed some "Sketches on Iowa" to the New York Tribune, giving glowing accounts flourishing of the prosperity of the State with its new to^vns, springing up, as it were, by magic, between night and morning." Her impressions of the inhabitants were no less flattering. "The people '

'

THE PALIMPSEST

298

are the strong, earnest, energetic, right-thinking and right-feeling people of the land."

The founders

of

Commonwealth, she thought, ''must have been wiser than most men, or they would not in the beginning have recognized all grog-shops as nuithe

sances,

and have made the vendor of ardent

its liable

for his

own

transgressions.

spir-

They must

have been more just than common men, or they would not at first have secured the property rights of the wife, and made her the joint guardian, with her husband, of her children. They must have been men more humane than common, or they would not have secured the homestead to the family. These good laws have led those of other States who wish to be wise, just, and humane, to become the dwellers of this fair land. Hence I hesitate not to say that it is the most moral and progressive, as well as the best-improved State, of its age, in all our country." The people of the East, she warned, must cease to think of Iowa as "way out West". Indeed, ''the people who last year, or last week, or even day before yesterday, left New England, New York, Pennsylvania, or Ohio," she wrote,

or

Putnam

"with the

last

Harper

in their pocket, the last Tribune in their

hand, the last fashion on their heads and shoulders, and the last reform in their hearts, are very much the same people in Iowa that their neighbors found them at home, only that a new country, log cabins, and little deprivations call out all their latent powers, cultivate the fallow ground of heart and feelings,

;;

THE EARLY lOWANS make them more

free,

more

in fact, expand, enlarge,

for life and

its

299

more charitable them all the better

earnest,

and

fit

duties."

Mrs. Gage attended a political meeting at Oskaloosa in 1854 to hear a Free-soil nominee for Governor speak. There the ''men looked just like men elsewhere, only they were a little more civil and

and did not make quite so general a spittoon House; and I did not see one that leaned toward drunkenness, though the house was full. I went to church; fine astrals, polished walnut, and crimson velvet made the pulpit look like home genteel,

of the Court

ladies rustled rich brocades, or flitted in lawns as life. The only point of difference that was, that their bonnets, with a few exceptions did not hang so exactly upon nothing as in the

natural as struck

me

East probably because there was ;

less of

hang on." In a word migrant

it may be observed that two men have made the West,

''breeds of

— the

league-booters and the little-by-littler s. invited the latter class, not the former.

nothing to

seven-

Early Iowa

Few pioneer

plainsmen came far, or came with the spirit of Trekking from Indiana or Illinois, bent rovers. upon finding cheap lands, anxious to escape competition, they sought the same chances for frontier fortune building which had once enriched their elders. Iowa was therefore a huge overflow meeting, thronged with the second generation of middleWesterners. Quite naturally, then, the state lacked

'

THE PALIMPSEST

300

the era of gorgeous desperado jollity wliicli fell to

West." Iowa's beginnings were rather commonplace: sensible folks merely came here and lived. "And once settled upon their spacious, Avindblown prairies, these migrant peoples so mingled that the resultant Iowa was not a mosaic, but an emulsion. Moreover, the uniformity of the prairie itself contributed to the uniformity of the lowans by the farthest

'

be farmers. From one point of view the character of the individual is the important consideration, but when examined from another angle it is the merit of the mass, not the merit of the individual, the humbler, destining nearly

all to

'

'

and for matter of that the mere bro^vn-colored

vir-

tues, not the blazing, sporadic flashes of genius or

prowess, that establish the real greatness of a people. Unrelieved industry, morality, intelligence, and loyalty make very melancholy material for liter-

ary or

artistic

treatment but when your soul ;

is

bent

upon finding a happy augury for your country's Happily this future, what better can you seek? state of Iowa, so typical of the broad, fertile, popu-

lous valley of the upper Mississippi, stands repre-

sentative of the bulk of our people."

Geo. F. Eobeson

A Pioneer Journey In the spring of 1841 I had my means all locked corn, flour, pork, and bacon up in produce and I found that it would be necessary for me to realize early on a good portion of my stock in order to replenish my store. The spring was late that year, and it was well along in April before I could get a boat to carry me up the river. At last I found the steamer Smelter. Scribe Harris, the captain, said he was going up as far as Prairie du Chien, and I concluded to go with him. On our way up we went





Snake Hollow where I made a profitable sale. I found that the fur company had received no spring supplies and was in need of provisions. During the forenoon I sold them my entire stock, all at fair prices, and received my pay, cash down, in gold and silver. A large part of the company funds in those days consisted of Spanish into

At Prairie du Chien

silver dollars.

Captain Harris, finding the Wisconsin River very high, decided to take the opportunity of bringing

down

a cargo of shot from a shot tower up that river. Inasmuch as he might be gone a week, I was [This account of the experiences of J. M. D. Burrows on a trip from Prairie du Chien to Davenport in 1841 is adapted for The Palimpsest from his book, Fifty Years in Iowa. Mr. Burrows came to Iowa from Ohio in 1838, and until just before the Civil War was the most prominent merchant, miller, and meat packer in Davenport.

— The Editoe]

301

THE PALIMPSEST

302

quandary as to a means of getting back to Davenport. Gold and silver was at a ten per cent premium, our paper currency being nothing but ''wildcat" issued at Green Bay, and I was very anxious to be home with my money. There was no boat above and none expected from below, but upon inquiry I learned that at some Grove, about twelve miles from Prairie du Chien, a stage would pass through at three o 'clock the next day. I made up my mind that I would take that stage. The next morning after breakfast I went back to the fur company's office and got my silver exchanged for gold as far as possible. Having procured some strong brown paper, I went to my room, wrapped each piece of money separately, and did them up in a

Each pocket was loaded with all it would hold and the rest I tied up in a strong handinto small rolls.

kerchief.

At

eleven o'clock that forenoon I took a lunch and down the river. Three miles below I struck

started

the Wisconsin River which

was booming high and

seemed to run with the velocity of a locomotive. For half an hour, off and on, I rang the ferry bell, but no ferryman appeared. At last I saw that I would either have to go back or paddle myself over, so I launched the ferry canoe and shoved off. I had never been in a canoe before and did not know how to handle it, but soon found that I had to The canoe sit very still, flat on the leaky bottom. kept going round and round, and every few minutes

!

A PIONEER JOURNEY would dip some water.

303

Meanwhile the current was

conveying me swiftly down to the Mississippi. I thought I was lost. I would have given all my money to be safe on either shore, and why I was not drowned was always a mystery to me but I suppose my time had not come. I noticed that as the canoe whirled around each turn brought me nearer to the shore. I also began to manage the paddle to better advantage, and finally touched some willows, which I caught, and pulled the canoe as near the shore as I could. Then I jumped overboard and got on dry land as soon as possible. After I had straightened up and let the water drain from my clothing I set forward again. About a mile farther on I came to a small creek. The water was fully four or five feet deep. There was no bridge and the stream could not be forded on account of the perpendicular banks. After some examination I saw there was no way but to jump it, so, choosing the narrowest place I could find, I pitched my bundle of money across, took a run, and jumped Just made it, and that was all. As I struck the edge of the bank one of my coat pockets gave way and fell, with its heavy contents, into four feet of water. I hunted up a forked stick and, luckily, the lining having gone with the pocket, soon fished it out. Making for the stagehouse as fast as I could go I arrived without further trouble, only to find that the stage had gone I then determined to make my way to Dubuque



!

THE PALIMPSEST

304

on

foot,

stream.

hoping to find a boat there bound down About dark I came to a cabin where I de-

I was puzzled to know what money, as I might be robbed perhaps murdered. My first thought was to hide it in a pile of brush near by, but I was afraid some one would see me, so I resolved to share its fate.

cided to stay

to do with

all night.

my



applying to the woman at the cabin for lodging me to her husband who was at the barn, so I interviewed him. He said I could stay. He was a rough-looking man, and I did not feel very safe. After he had taken care of the stock we went to the house together. Supper was nearly ready. I took a seat by the fire with my bundle by my side. In a few minutes supper was announced and I went to the table, carrying my bundle with me. Just then tAvo of the hardest-looking men I ever saw came in and sat down at the table, eyeing me

On

she referred

Just as I was becoming a little alarmed bowed his head and asked a blessing on the meal. No human being can realize what a feeling of relief came over me. All anxiety about my money and my life passed away. Early the next morning at the break of day I was on the road again, determined to reach Dubuque some time that night. At noon it began to rain, but At sundown I reached Parsons' I persevered. Ferry, fifteen miles above Dubuque. Being on the Wisconsin side it was necessary to cross there, and again I was troubled to arouse the ferryman. After sharply.

the proprietor

'

A PIONEER JOURNEY

305

nearly an hour, however, he answered my signal and By this time it was pitch dark and set me over. raining hard, and I had fifteen miles yet to go. I took the middle of the road. The mud was very deep, and the darkness so intense that an object could not be seen six inches away.

While plodding along with my bundle in one hand and a big club, which I used as a cane, in the other, I ran against a man. Neither of us had seen the other. I was not a coward, but never in my life was I more startled than at that moment. My heart choked me so that I could not articulate plainly but, with my club raised, I stammered out, ''What do you want?" I realized from his mumbling and incoherent reply that he was drunk, so I walked around him and pushed on my way. At eleven o'clock that night I reached Dubuque, having walked seventy-five miles in thirty-six hours. I was not acquainted in Dubuque and did not know where to find a hotel. After wandering about some time I met a man whom I asked to direct me to the best tavern in the place.

know

the

names

He

did so but as I did not

of the streets or their location I

could not find the house.

Tired and bewildered, I

accosted another man.

*'My friend,"

wish to find the best hotel and have been hunting stranger a your town over for some time, up one street and down another, until I have become confused. Will in town.

I

I said, ''I

am

you be kind enough to come along and show me ?

'

THE PALIMPSEST

306

He

cheerfully did so.

It

was a

first-rate

the best I had seen above St. Louis.

clean room, vided.

all to

myself, and the table

house



had was well proI

a nice,

I told the landlord he need not bother to cook

anything for

me

;

that although I had

eat since daylight, I

would be

had nothing

to

with a cold going to bed I

satisfied

lunch and a cup of hot coffee. On gave orders not to be called in the morning unless there was a boat going down. I did not awaken until noon the next day, when my landlord knocked at the door and said there was a boat at the landing, going down. I was so sore and stiff I could scarcely dress myself, and had to slide down the banister to get down stairs. The boat was not scheduled to leave until three o'clock, so I took dinner with my kind landlord. We got under way toward night, and reached home the next forenoon. I was so lame for ten days that it was as much as I could do to attend to my business. Such were the trials and labors of a pioneer mer-

chant of those early days. J.

M. D. BuEROws

Bridging the Cedar Walk up South Street from Battery Park in New York City late some summer evening and look Brooklyn Bridge, a gigantic cobof light, is before you. Along the arched steel span of the cobweb drift the white lights of passing cars while the red and green lights of river craft float mistily beneath. There it stands in its day the wonder of the world, and still, after straight ahead.

web dotted with points



forty years of service, a tive genius of

monument

to the construc-

man.

Thirty-two years before the famous Brooklyn Bridge was opened for traffic, a suspension bridge very similar in appearance to the marvelous struc-

was constructed over But the history of the

ture spanning the East River the Cedar River in Iowa.

Cedar River Suspension Bridge

is

a far different

story.

The year 1850 found Muscatine a growing river town of 2540 inhabitants, awake to its advantages as a distributing center for the inland trade.

Long

newspaper articles proclaimed the necessity of building graded plank roads over which much of the produce of central Iowa would find its way to market. Projects such as these, it was thought, could perhaps twenty cents not fail to pay big dividends



on each dollar subscribed.

To

the

enthusiastic 307

THE PALIMPSEST

308

for Muscatine, the broad Cedar River about ten miles to the west afforded no serious obstacle to their plans for trade expansion. It should be bridged. Accordingly, during the summer of 1850, arrangements were made with N. L. Milburn, an inventor and contractor from Paducah, Kentucky, to erect his patented suspension bridge over the Cedar. This structure was supposed to be much more durable than the Remington arch bridge. Both Mr. Milburn and his bridge were recommended to other communities by Muscatine enthusiasts. To finance the project, the Muscatine, Washington, and Oskaloosa Road and Bridge Company was organized. The name elicited from a local editor the remark, what a long tail our cat 's got '. Stock was sold without difficulty through personal solicitation The to business men, townspeople, and farmers. stockholders elected a board of directors and Joseph Bennett, one of the principal shareholders and an energetic supporter of the project, became president of the company. So completely did Mr. Milburn gain the confidence of the directors in his integrity and in the merits of his plan that he was not required to furnish bond but was urged to proceed with the construction of the bridge with all possible dispatch. Material for the structure was brought up the Mississippi River on the small steamer General Bern, thence up the Iowa River to its juncture with the Cedar, and then up the latter stream to the spot

boosters

'

'

'

BRIDGING THE CEDAR

309

designated for the erection of the bridge

— a place

At

this point

nine or ten miles Avest of Muscatine.

the timbers and lumber were unloaded and, early in the

autumn of 1850, Milburn and his crew began The eager stockholders and merchants looked

work.

forward to the early completion of the structure. There were some citizens in Muscatine, however, who had doubts about the success of the project and did not share the optimism of the directors. In fact, certain critics were outspoken in their opposition to the type of bridge being built.

Common

sense prin-

ciples of construction should be used, they argued,

instead of the new-fangled idea of a suspension

Others objected to the site of the new structure. It was a big mistake, in their judgment, to put the bridge any place above the junction of the Iowa

bridge.

and Cedar

But the stockholders and directors of the company were indifferent to these criticisms, and the work of construction continued. The Iowa Democratic Enquirer for October 19, 1850, published an item of news which was welcome to both the tradesmen of Muscatine and to the farmers living west of the town. "Farmees, Ahoy! BRroGE!" The item read, ''We are pleased to announce that a strong safe temporary bridge has been thrown across the Cedar by Mr. Milburn at the point of the Suspension Bridge and until the latter is completed, over which the farmers of that region are already bringing their produce. Come on. Market Try us." is brisk and prices high. rivers.

'

'

THE PALIMPSEST

310

Another item in the same issne announced that the temporary bridge over Cedar at the site of the Suspension Bridge is strong and safe, and being on a level with the shore is very easy crossing. We were on the ground Thursday last and were struck with the energy with which Mr. Milburn pushes forward the work. Mr. M. is determined to make a good bridge a 'model bridge', even if he loses by the '^

contract.

'

Throughout the autumn, work on the bridge continued and a visitor to the scene of construction in December, 1850, reported, "The work ward condition and going ahead with compatible with

and

durability.

its

It

is

in a for-

all

dispatch

perfect combination of strength

now

presents a most imposing

view, and one of great interest.

All were pleased with the appearance of the work. Mr. Milburn by his polite explanations, convinced us of the merit of his plan. .

.

.

'

Expenses of construction mounted, however, and soon exceeded the original estimate so that in January, 1851, perturbed stockholders of the Muscatine, Washington and Oskaloosa Road and Bridge Company held a meeting to determine what should be done. It was disclosed at this meeting that $10,000 had already been spent, that a debt of $4500 in addition had been incurred, and that $2500 more had to be raised to prevent the company from losingall that had been invested. A spirited discussion ensued. Finally, resolutions were passed to issue

BRIDGING THE CEDAR

311

preferred stock certificates in sums not less than five dollars, these shares to bear interest at ten per cent payable semi-annually. Principal and interest of this loan were to be paid out of the first tolls collected and the bridge itself was to be pledged as security for the loan.

pany were

The stockholders

of the com-

to be given ten days to

advance this additwenty per cent of the total stock already subscribed. After ten days any unsold stock was to be offered to the public. The editor of the Enquirer hoped that the stockholders themselves would raise the necessary sum. ''Walk up gentlemen", he urged. Although the majority of the stockholders had subscribed all that tional $2500,

they

felt

which amounted

to

able to give, the danger of losing the

amount already invested and the hope of rich returns from tolls led them to furnish the required $2500.

The

crisis

was met and construction

con-

tinued.

Late in January, 1851, the stability of the new bridge was subjected to a severe test. Shortly after

work was joined in the center, but before was made secure by hogchains and bolts, a high wind blowing upstream carried away the scaffolding below and left the center span without support. Althe trestle it

though the unsupported section deflected twelve to twenty inches upstream before the wind, not an inch did firm

give downward. The rest of the work stood and unmoved. Although the windstorm caused

it

about forty dollars

damage

the

company

felt that

THE PALIMPSEST

312

the successful test of the stability of the bridge

was

worth twice that amount.

Thereafter the bridge without staging or props. unsupported, stood Other towns began to notice the new structure and newspapers made favorable comments. The BurThe Muscatine folks lington Hawh-Eye remarked, have flung an arch of 600 feet span across Cedar

'

\

'

'

'

River.

The

trestle

work

is

is

to be one of the

cent structure of the kind they ever beheld." Indeed, the bridge was, in appearance, all that

I

'

its

On

each bank stood two high square towers reaching ninety feet above the surface of the river. These towers were five feet square, each side being the width of four logs which had been squared and bolted one to another with big iron bolts. The logs, perhaps twenty feet long and over a foot square, were of tough, hewn oak and were placed end to end, jointed at the middle of the adjoining log. The bases of these towering piers were sunk in the ground on the banks almost as deep

admirers claimed.

i

said to be beautiful, and

handsomest and the most substantial in the Union. Travellers from about pronounce the new bridge the most magnifithe bridge

|

was used in the Between secure. more make them foundation to each pair of towers extended heavy, six by six inch cross braces high enough above the road so as not to as the bed of the river but no stone

:;

j

ij

i

,

j

Pleavy wire cables supported the driveway of the bridge, which was twenty-one feet wide at the piers and narrowed to twelve feet interfere with travel.

j

BRIDGING THE CEDAR

313

The driveway spanned the river in a graceful arch, high enough in the center to allow the in the middle.

small steamboats to pass under.

came together

The wire

cables

in bundles at the top of the square

towers then extended downward toward each bank and were fastened to logs buried several feet in the ground as* anchors. Long approaches on trestle work sloped up to the twin towers on either side, joining the driveway at a point fifteen feet above the bank of the river. On each side of the long approaches was a plain wooden railing while an ornamental railing of wooden cross-pieces extended along the sides of the high arched driveway. Including the approaches, the total length of the structure was said to be twenty-one hundred feet and the

span between the piers was six hundred and fiftyseven feet. All who saw the bridge praised the beauty of its design and marvelled at its strength. By April 3, 1851, the work was so nearly finished that the president of the company, Joseph Bennett, rode across on horseback, the first man to cross in that fashion, but he had to turn back without landing on the west bank of the river because of the uncompleted condition of the approach.

During the night of April fourth, twenty-four hours after Bennett's triumphal ride on the bridge, a terrific storm of rain and wind swept down the Cedar Valley. Lightning revealed the swaying, swishing branches of trees. Suddenly, there came a heavy rumble, a ripping, wrenching crash, and the Cedar

314

THE PALIMPSEST

River Suspension Bridge, the pride of Muscatine and the envy of other river towns, fell with a tremendous splash into the swirling waters below. The long arched span first parted in the center, then each half swinging around before the wind pulled the towers from their fastenings in the earth. The hogchains held firm and the whole structure tumbled into the river.

Great was the consternation among the stockholdwhen the news reached them. What was to be done? Milburn, it seems, confident that his task on the Cedar was drawing to successful completion, had gone to Keosauqua to begin work on another bridge. The loiva Democratic Enquirer aired its views on the subject in the following item ''Our citizens were startled from their propriety on Saturday last by the news of the fall of the Suspension Bridge over Cedar River. It was like a shower on a stand up shirt collar to their hopes and calculations. The thermometer of public spirit stood at a low figure, and many feared that no degree of enthusiasm for any ers

:

future project, could raise the mercury of individual liberality to

the giving point.

upon a calm view

But subsequently it has lost more

of the calamity,

— —

though it is still regarded as than half its horrors a great triumph by that class of mushroom prophets, who, after every disaster, 'birds of ill omen' cock up their eyes, and with a toss of the head sidewise exclaim, 'ah, ha, I told you so!' The sensible view of the subject is that it's down, and can't be



'

BRIDGING THE CEDAR



315

must Go Up Again, stronger and better, and that is a fact. The individual who supposes or teaches that Muscatine cannot recover from the loss helped

it

of $15,000 in a bridge, or that such a loss will dis-

courage the public spirit of an intelligent community, should be tapped for the 'simples' and the man who has any interest in the city, and will now



lay his

hand on

his pocket,

and declare that 'they've

got the last cent they'll get from me!' should go

Bevard and order a pork barrel, that he may be headed up in it he can receive all the food, air and light he needs through the bung hole. straight to



'

Following this outburst against the calamity howlers the editor proceeded to describe the appearance of the wreck. The timbers of the towers were shivered somewhat and the ornamental trestle work of the arched span was smashed in some places, but for the most part the structure was but little broken. Although nearly two-thirds of the plank flooring had floated down the river most of it was caught and landed at various points below. The inclined approaches at each end were uninjured. The disaster proved, thought the writer, that the bridge was strong enough to resist any amount of perpendicular w^eight but that it needed some lateral support to hold it against high winds. The editor argued that it would do no good to grumble about the errors of the builder or to complain about the carelessness of the directors in not The bridge must be rerequiring him to give bond. '

'

— THE PALIMPSEST

316

erected and

made

to stand," he insisted.

the material for which our

''We have

money has been

paid,

the timbers are ready to be again put together.

What

has been done has cost $15,000. From three to thousand more will make it right and secure against the loss of the whole amount invested and last, though not least, the bridge is necessary for the prosperity of Muscatine and when completed as it five

should be will pay a handsome dividend to the stockThose who think the means cannot be had should learn that it will not do to estimate other men's good sense and liberality by their own. The sum necessary can and will be forthcoming a holders.



gentleman who lives beyond the bridge and has now no stock, declared on the ground Sunday, that he was ready to subscribe to put it up again. We heard one citizen in town who has no stock, say yesterday that he was ready to subscribe, and one other who has five shares, that he was ready to take four more. The money can and must be raised if not one way it must be another the bridge must and will go up go up on common sense principles and under bonds from the contractor. The City of Muscatine is able to build a dozen such bridges, and this misfortune will only call forth her energies. We hope







the directors will take the necessary steps to raise

means

up as it ought to be. It won't do to stand still now." Spirited discussion marked the meeting of the directors of the bridge company following the disthe

to put the bridge

;

BRIDGING THE CEDAR aster.

317

The sentiment expressed by the editor preThe board resolved that the bridge

vailed, however.

should be repaired and, as soon as they could hear to what he would and could do in the matter, they proposed to push the work forward

from Milburn as rapidly.

Long articles from stockholders in the bridge company and others interested in the project appeared in the Iowa Democratic Enquirer. "The bridge on the upper route is down," wrote one enraged shareholder. *'We should bridge the loAva below the mouth of the Cedar. About $20,000 will build a good bridge. None of your Milburn bridges." Another contributor, signing his name "Muscatine was moved to remark, The bridge has fallen and with it has fallen the countenances of all who were interested in its successful completion. This is a great calamity which falls heaviest upon the direc'

*

'

',

Many are heaping of the bridge company. odium upon them for not having Mr. Milburn under

tors

bonds, so that in the event of the bridge proving a failure, as it has, the stockholders would suffer no loss.

But

this is

no time

to curse the fruits of the in-

discreet or fall into sulky melancholy

and refuse

to

go forward with the improvements necessary for the good of our town. This misfortune should only incite us to greater caution and renewed energy and determination in going forward with this work. Now is the time to form a new bridge company and build a bridge on good common sense principles

'

318

THE PALIMPSEST

below the forks of the Cedar and Iowa where the bridge should have been built in the first place. '

One of the stockholders felt that any rational being might have known that such a heavy structure

He

recommended that if the present company did not choose to rebuild the bridge, they should hand it over to the mayor and city council of Muscatine who with the assistance of the marshal might make it stand by the could not stand without better support.

force of a city ordinance.

vein he admitted that

all

Then in a more serious the money of Muscatine

had not gone down the Cedar Eiver and that he for one was willing to re-subscribe for as much stock as he had originally. "What did Milburn propose to do? News of his opinions and plans was eagerly sought. Late in April, word came from him that he would return to Muscatine in a short time to restore the bridge. He expressed his conviction that it could be reerected and rendered durable and secure. This information raised the hopes of the directors who forthwith dispatched a special messenger to confer with him at Keosauqua. A few days later, however, came the disturbing news that Milburn would not return to reerect the bridge. He was reported to have said that his contract at Keosauqua prevented his leaving there and, moreover, that he had lost confidence in the suspension type of bridge for the Cedar River, on account of the length of the span and its location.

BRIDGING THE CEDAR

319

I This report was a sad blow to every shareholder. What should be done? Some proposed that a bridge should be built from trestle work to trestle work, supported by strong abutments with a pier in the river and a draw section over the channel. Others favored the suspension type of bridge and wished to proceed with the replacement of the fallen span. Still others wanted to sell or assign the stock to a company which would guarantee to erect the bridge. They believed that the lure of fifteen or twenty per cent in tolls would attract a reputable company if the No agreement stockholders would agree to sell. could be reached.

Later in the month of May the report reached Muscatine that Milburn had changed his mind and that, if the directors would support him, he would raise the bridge and make it a permanent structure. Again hopes mounted, and confidence was nearly restored when Milburn further asserted that the bridge could again be placed upon its abutments at small expense and could be

made

secure against

storms by means of suitable lateral fastenings. Milburn did return to Muscatine toward the middle of June, 1851, considerably nettled by newspaper criticism of his conduct as a contractor. He threatened to hold the editor of the Iowa Democratic Enquirer personally responsible, but the editor advised him not to let his angry passions rise and refused to After a few days retract any of his statements. to return soon promising Milburn left Muscatine,

THE PALIMPSEST

320

and make

definite

arrangements for the reerection!

of the .bridge.

Apparently he never returned.

autumn

The wreck was

Joseph Bennett who planned to rebuild the structure during the coming spring. In the meantime, however, railroads became the all-absorbing topic and attention was focused on the project of securing a line through Muscatine to Oskaloosa. The Cedar River Suspension Bridge was forgotten, but for many years its rotting timbers and rusting cables remained mute monuments to the soaring ambitions of Muscatine merchants and the wrecked hopes of the farmers to finally sold late in the

of 1851 to



the west.

Bbuce E. Mahan

\

Comment by

the Editor

THE DEMOCRACY OF PIONEERING

Whatever the social and political opinions of the American colonists may have been, their descendants have for a century or more been pledged to the idea of democracy. Nor has the concept of democracy been confined to popular government. The meaning of the term has been expanded from the strict construction of the Greek root words to include social and economic conditions. Democracy has become a shibboleth of the American people. The reason for this lies not so much in the general acceptance of a well-reasoned theory as in the force of circumstances.

Where

government by the people is either nominal or impossible; but where every man lives on the same plane as his neighbor, where all are engaged in a common enterprise, and where there is no distinction of race or class or Probably creed, there democracy is inevitable. never in the history of the world were conditions better adapted to obliterate social, economic, and political differences than in the settlement of the When the hardy American Mississippi Valley. frontiersmen crossed the Alleghenies and centered social inequality exists,

their attention solely

upon the conquest

of the conti321

THE PALIMPSEST

322

nent they created conditions which preordained the establishment of democratic institutions. While other factors contributed to the democratization of

American

politics in the era of

Henry Dodge,

the

potent influence of

life

Andrew Jackson and

of the pioneers

was the most

all.

The men and women who

filtered into the

Valley and spread westward to the Missouri,

Ohio

who

subdued the wilderness, God and man faced more perils than Ulysses in all his wanderings. They came of their own free will, impelled by no political or religious incentive and leaving no grievance behind; they sought new homes and a chance to shape their own destiny; and, inspired with the zeal of creating, they founded a dozen Commonwealths. Hard work, privation, danger, a common occupation, and absolute equality of opportunity were the character-building conditions in the life of the pioneers conditions admirably suited to inspire faith in democracy. Indeed, democracy is the very essence of such a life. established

settlements,

and compelled obedience

to the laws of



Pioneering is not only inherently democratic but develops the very qualities of citizenship which make democracy successful. Honesty, justice, and intelligence are at once the prime virtues of good government and the stock in trade of the pioneers. For shrewd common sense, keen judgment, and broad understanding the early settlers in the Great Valley have seldom if ever been excelled, while the it

COMMENT BY THE EDITOR

323

claim associations and extralegal courts are eloquent testimonials of their innate sense of justice. The absence of locks and the hearty hospitality for neighbor and stranger alike bespeak their o^vn re-

gard for common honesty. Self-reliance, courage, and resourcefulness all important elements in the art of governing are also equally descriptive of prominent traits in the character of the winners of the West. Being accustomed to social equality and community cooperation, fixed in the habit of self-determination, and richly endowed with the principal qualifications for good government, the pioneers





naturally claimed for themselves extensive partici-

pation in politics. practice.

They revolutionized

What wonder

ican watchword.

that democracy

It is the

is

political

an Amer-

experience of the race. J.

E. B.

C O NT E N TS D0^fAtD L. Mej^URRY

iJ^itenai^ Jef fersbn Davj^ ^

346

Cbixm^nir The^ditor

JPUBLjSHED MONTHCf At IOWAQIY BY

^gS5^S^?:S^S23^^^^5^^??^^ INTERED A3 SECOND CLASS MATTER JUIT 2S 1920 AT THE POST OFFICE AT IOWA CITY IOWA UNDER THE ACT OF AUGUST 24 1912

THE PURPOSE OF The Palimpsest,

THIS

MAGAZINE

issued monthly

by the

State His-

devoted to the dissemination of Iowa History. Supplementing the other publications of this Society, it aims to present the materials of Iowa History in a form that is attractive and a style that is popular in the best sense to the end that the story of our Commonwealth may be more widely read

torical Society of Iowa, is



and cherished. BENJ. F.

Shambaugh Superintendent

THE MEANING OF PALIMPSESTS were parchments or other materials from which one or more writings had been erased to give room for later records. But the erasures were not always complete; and so it became the

In early times palimpsests

fascinating task of scholars not only to translate the later records

but also to reconstruct the original writ-

by deciphering the dim fragments of letters partly erased and partly covered by subsequent texts. The history of Iowa may be likened to a palimpsest which holds the records of successive generations. To ings

decipher these records of the past, reconstruct them, tell the stories which they contain is the task of

and

who

those

write history.

— 10c per copy:

PRICE

ADDRESS — The

$1 per year:

free to

members

of Society

State Historical Society Iowa City Iowa

The Palimpsest EDITED BY JOHN ELY BRIGGS Vol. IV

Issued

in

October 1923

No. 10

COPVNiaHT \»t» av the state historical society of IOWA

Kelly's The Populist movement

Army of the early nineties

was

an attempt of the discontented to better their condiFarmers enrolled themselves among the downtrodden because the prices of crops were low and mortgages were too common, and industrial laborers felt oppressed because wages were small and jobs were scarce. They all wanted more money and better times. Various prophets of this discontent arose and preached their panaceas among the people. tion.

Perhaps the strangest of the many peculiar movements connected mth the Populist uprising was the plan formulated and translated into action by Jacob S. Coxey of Massillon, Ohio, to relieve the suffering from unemployment.

On the chilly Easter Sunday of March 24, 1894, Coxey 's army of the unemployed began its march on Washington, with the intent to present itself as a living petition to Congress for half a billion dollars 325

THE PALIMPSEST

326

of paper money, to be expended in building good roads thronghout the country, thus giving work to the workless at the rate of a dollar and a half for an eight hour day. The novelty of the scheme; Coxey's business reputation; and the ** General" exploits of

expedition

some

of the freaks

attracted

who accompanied

nation-wide

organization was christened

attention.

the

The

"The Commonweal

of

derived from the "theosophy" of the picturesque and versatile Carl Browne, a labor agitator, cartoonist, and religious crank who had Christ", a

title

converted Coxey to his faith and who Avas the marshal of the army. The Commonweal arrived in Washington on the first of May, 1894. Coxey had boasted that a hundred thousand unemployed would be there to stage a great demonstration on the Capitol steps, but he arrived with a scant five hundred. After a disturbance on the Capitol grounds in which Browne and a number of spectators were clubbed by the police, Coxey, Browne, and Christopher Columbus Jones, the leader of a contingent from Philadelphia, were arrested, fined, and imprisoned for walking on the grass and for carrying banners on the Capitol grounds contrary to the law. This fiasco did not put an immediate end to the army of the unemployed as had been expected.

Coxey's army camped on the outskirts of Washing-

was evident before the Commonweal had reached Washington that ton, awaiting reinforcements.

It

KELLY'S ARMY

327

marcli had started a movement. The newspapers had seized upon the story and had treated the public to a great deal of amusement at the expense of Coxey and his outfit, and incidentally they had given the Commonweal an enormous amount of free adverits

tising.

While Coxey was advancing upon Washington, 'industrial armies" were organizing in many cities to go to the Capitol and petition Congress. As they proceeded eastward they were fed because people sympathized with them or because it was the easiest way to get rid of them they stole or borrowed trains when the railroads refused to carry them; and they were thus able to cover long distances before they were arrested or compelled to seek other methods of travel. Strict discipline was imposed by their elected leaders and while they were, on the whole, remarkably well-behaved and orderly, they caused much apprehension, and police, marshals, militia, and even the regular army were kept busy protecting railroad property and revarious

;

assuring nervous citizens.

The

largest,

and

in

many

respects the most inter-

was the one piloted San Francisco to Wash-

esting of these industrial armies,

across the continent from

ington by General Charles T. Kelly. greatest

numbers and the height

It attained its

of its popularity

in western Iowa.

Early in April, 1894, the mayor of San Francisco paid the ferry passage of six hundred unemployed

THE PALIMPSEST

328

men across the bay to Oakland. There Kelly took command and the men were fed, quartered in a large building known as the Tabernacle, and finally crowded into a freight train and shipped east. At Sacramento, where the army increased to a thousand men, a special train was provided to carry them over the Southern Pacific to Ogden, Utah. But Ogden did not want them and, after several days of excitement, the

army marched

out of the city escorted by cavalry.

A

Union Pacific train was captured (apparently with the connivance of Union Pacific officials who hoped in this manner to avoid responsibility for leaving the men at the other end of the line), and thus the army proceeded to Omaha. While Kelly's freight cars were rolling toward the Missouri River the people of Omaha and Council Bluffs, fearing the approach of what they believed to be an army of tramps and desperate characters, became more and more alarmed. But when the train pulled into

Omaha on Sunday morning,

April 15th,

the appearance and perfect discipline of the

army

helped to allay popular apprehension. The people of Omaha were further relieved when Kelly and his followers crossed the river to Council Bluffs. If the Union Pacific was eager to pass the army on, the railroads that extended eastward from Council Bluffs were equally anxious to avoid receiving it. On Saturday, Judge N. M. Hubbard, attorney for the Chicago and Northwestern, had called

upon Governor Frank D. Jackson

at

Des Moines

to

KELLY'S ARMY

329

ask protection for the railroads at Council Bluffs. The Governor also received a telegram from the sheriff of Pottawattamie County, which announced that Kelly's army was expected and that the railroads were demanding protection. The Governor at once set out for Council Bluffs on a special train. Shortly after his arrival that evening he canvassed the situation with the Attorney General, the agents of the railroads, the mayor of Council Bluffs, and the sheriff of the county. The

seven companies of militia, which had already been instructed to hold themselves in readiness, were called out, but at midnight the Governor announced that no effort should be made ''to prevent landing of the pilgrims on Iowa soil", and that the troops

would be used only

to preserve order.

army arrived in Council Bluffs before noon on Sunday. The men stayed near their train Kelly's

and

built fires of old ties

which had been distributed

along the track for that purpose. Many, worn with fatigue from the journey, slept on the damp ground. Three hundred militiamen were encamped a few hundred yards away, but the industrial army was under no restraint except that imposed by the moral effect of the presence of these troops and by their own discipline. "While here", said a dispatch to the Iowa State Register, "they roamed at will over the city, and not an act was committed that was not

praiseworthy." It was estimated that thirty thousand people came

330

THE PALIMPSEST

army during its first day in the city. The impression that it had a serious purpose was strengthened by its manifestations of religious zeal on that Sunday afternoon. ''After dimier", wrote a newspaper reporter, ''the army gathered into little knots and religious services were conducted in half a dozen places at once. Prayers were offered up by the men so earnest and full of touching pathos that tears were brought to the eyes of hundreds of people. The religious element seems strongly to predominate, and when some good old Methodist hjnnn was started it was carried through by hundreds of voices that appeared to be well trained for congregational singing." Kelly boasted that there was not a tramp or a drunkard in the army, and that three-fourths of his men were mechanics. The report that on the first day in Council Bluffs only one hundred and fifty-five recruits were accepted out of to see the

several hundred

who

applied, indicates that

discrimination was used in admitting

members

some into

the organization.

On Monday

afternoon the army, in a column nearly half a mile long and headed by several wagon loads of donated provisions, marched to the Chautauqua grounds three or four miles east of the city. The militia followed. The next day there was a cold rain, with flurries of snow the industrials stood wet and shivering in the mud where they had spent the night. On top of Chautauqua Hill was an amphitheater, a large unused building which might have :

KELLY'S ARMY

331

afforded ample shelter, but part of the militia had encamped in it, and the officer in charge, nervously apprehending a disturbance if the industrials got too close to his men, refused to admit the unfortu-

nate Kellyites.

The owner

took pity upon the

of the building, however,

men who,

after a night in the

mud and a day in the rain, were suffering acutely. He went to a lawyer's office and had a permit drawn up which allowed them

to use the building for forty-

they built no fires there. When the the permit at the chautauqua grounds he discovered that it had been dated the 15th instead of the 17th, and the time had expired before it began! He was unable to persuade the officer in charge of the building to admit the suffering men, and the militiamen "boasted that they would shoot if the Kellyites attempted to come in out of the storm." This inhumane treatment of the men, for whom much sympathy had already been aroused, caused great indignation. A committee of citizens deeight hours sheriff

if

received

manded

that the Governor withdraw the troops. The Governor blamed the sheriff, saying that the militia was under the sheriff's orders when it was sent to the chautauqua grounds.

He

soon took

the companies out of the sheriff's hands and re-

them from duty. Much of the popular resentment was directed against the railroads, which were held responsible for the militia being called out, while Judge Hubbard was the object of general lieved

THE PALIMPSEST

332

execration on account of his alleged declaration that the industrials captured a train a wild engine should be sent down the track to wreck it and thus settle the whole problem. On Wednesday night in Omaha at a great mass meeting in the public square Kelly told the story of his army and explained that the aim of his men "was to impress the government at Washington as

if

mere

would not, and that the government might understand and appreciate the condition of the multitude of laborers and devise some measures of relief." He did not suggest any definite program of legislation perhaps he had none worked petitions

— but



he expressed a sort of mystical and ability of Congress to do what was necessary when his army called attention to the need for it. "When we reach Washington", he said, "and present our living petition to Congress a petition that cannot be pigeonholed, referred, or put in the waste-basket something must happen. You ask me. What will we do? My answer is What will the other fellows do? Do you not think that in California tonight there are thousands of women and children kneeling by their bedsides, praying to God for the success of the Industrial Army? So long as these prayers are ascending we will not turn back, nor will we abandon our purpose," Meanwhile efforts were being made by Governor Jackson and the mayors of the two cities to induce out as yet

faith in the willingness



:



KELLY'S ARMY the railroads to carry the

army

333

to the Mississippi, or

and they offered to pay the cost of running the trains. But tlie railroads did not want to set a precedent that would encourage other bodies of unemployed to move eastward. They also feared the displeasure of the people of Illinois, and they asserted that they had no right to carry men without means of support into that State. Matters began to come to a head on Thursday, the 19th. At a working-men's meeting in Omaha that night it was decided to march to Council Bluffs and apply to the railway managers for a freight train. On Friday morning a large body of laboring men with drums, fifes, and flags marched across the river and joined the crowd already gathered before the Grand Hotel. Ten thousand people were there about half from Omaha and half from Council Bluffs. The situation began to look ominous. The railroads pulled their engines and cars out of town, and all train service was cut off. The Governor, the mayor, leaders of the army, and a committee of citizens conferred. The railroads unanimously declined to accept anything less than regular fares, amounting to about $15,000, which was too expensive. Part of the mob captured an engine and some cars, but the engine was cut loose by its crew and run into a to Chicago,



roundhouse. The Rock Island agent dispatched a section boss to tear up the track to prevent the passage of a train, but Kellyites persuaded the section hands to quit work and replaced the rail that had

334

THE PALIMPSEST

been removed.

The Milwaukee tracks were torn up

at Neola.

In the meantime the army started to walk to Weston, a few miles away. A captured engine and some freight cars were run out to the camp at Weston, but Kelly was too conscientious or too wary to accept the train. He refused, he said, to break the law and put his army in the wrong by accepting a stolen train, and besides, he feared some trick. He declined an invitation to ride back and accept the hospitality of Council Bluffs, but he used the train to send back his sick, of whom there were a considerable number after the exposure on the chautauqua grounds. On Saturday, some Omaha trade unionists again invaded Council Bluffs, looking for a train, but they found nothing except a few Union Pacific switch engines and flat cars. By Sunday the excite-

ment had subsided. While these events were transpiring the army was growing at Weston the enrollment reached nineteen hundred, and fully fifteen hundred men were in line when the column started eastward across Iowa. The march became a continuous ovation. Farmers came as far as twenty-five miles to see the army and to bring provisions. The Woodmen of the World, who had lodges in most of the towns along the route, furnished teams and w^agons to carry the provisions and the sick. Advance agents, representing the Knights of Labor, the Central Labor Union of Council Bluffs, and the Nebraska Federation of :

KELLY'S ARMY Labor, preceded the army and

335

made arrangements

for its entertainment.

On

Weston a name of Jack Pacific by the from the Coast youth London fell into the rear rank of the column. He had quit shoveling coal for $30 a month to join the industrial army, but he had missed it at Sacramento and had pursued it on blind baggages, on the trucks of freight cars, and otherwise, until he finally caught up. He was not yet known as a writer, but he kept a diary of his journey with Kelly from Weston to Hannibal, Missouri. "It was circus day when we came to town", he wrote, "and every day was circus Sure; they enday, for there were many to^vns. the road between Council Bluffs and

joyed it as much as we. We played their local nines with our picked baseball team; and we gave them better vaudeville than they'd often had, for there was good talent left in some of the decayed artists of Before he reached Des Moines his the army!" shoes were so worn that he found himself walking

on "eight blisters and more coming", so he dropped out of the ranks to pick up a ride with a farmer. In view of Kelly's lack of any military training his discipline, as it was described by those who saw it,

was remarkable.

The army consisted

of thirteen

companies, each with a captain, a lieutenant, and two sergeants. His men could form a column of fours with precision, and they could march in a very creditable manner, although on the long marches no attempt was made to keep them in formation. But

:

THE PALIMPSEST

336 it

was

in the

camp arrangements

that his organizing

showed best results. A correspondent of the Chicago Tribune described them as follows things ''Once the camp is reached move along at a lively rate. The first to arrive seize There are good their axes and make for timber. woodchoppers among them, and little time is reability

....

quired to cut enough for the night. Each company carries its share to its camp circle, and almost before it can be realized the commissary has served the

and big juicy steaks are frying in pans on There is no confusion over work and the men are not permitted to quarrel

rations, fire

this

beds of live coals.

After supper over camp locations or supplies. guards are placed, with a relief every two hours, and no man is allowed to leave the grounds without a pass. The town authorities are requested to arrest all men not supplied with these passes In breaking camp everything is done in a methodical way. Only a few minutes are required to clean, roll, and tie up everything. A wagon comes up, when there are wagons, and each company loads its blankets and pans, falls in behind, and takes up the march. If there is a sick man in the company, he rides. When the grounds are deserted there isn't even a pin to be found. Only the smouldering fires

....

tell

the tale."

The army maintained its own "intelligence service". Men spied upon the railroads and former telegraph operators listened in on the messages at

KELLY'S ARMY

337

the stations when they got a chance. But one night two sleuths of a very different variety camped with the army and tramped twenty-two miles with it the next day. William E. O'Bleness, Iowa State Labor Commissioner, and his clerk joined the army in disguise, at the suggestion of Governor Jackson, to

what it was like. They reported that they had started with little respect for the men, though ''thinking the leaders were well meaning but mis-

find out

guided zealots."

They returned with

their opinions

reversed: they were "satisfied that the majority of the

men composing

work

if

the 'army' were

men who would

they had an opportunity; and that, chi-

merical as the believed in

'

it.

movement was," the rank and file The men they decided, could not '

'

'

',

'

be properly classed as tramps or vagrants, as these terms are commonly understood, although they had

no means of support either visible or prospective other than the charity of the public, and their banding together made their continued presence in any community both a burden and a menace." The leaders were considered "thorough frauds, fakers, and schemers for their own selfish ends." A "war correspondent" for the Des Moines Capital, who viewed the whole affair as " a piece of monumental folly", expressed more cynical views. The creed of the army he stated in the words "We do not intend to starve, nor do we intend to work, and we do not intend to walk unless we cannot help it We are getting along so well that we :

...

.

338

THE PALIMPSEST

have been led to wonder why this plan of civilization had not been thought of before. The army had the sympathy of laboring men, and the honest farmers who furnished food had been impressed by the singing and flag waving. The result, he concluded, was that no one could criticise the industrials without criticising those who indorsed the movement, and this shut the mouths of politicians who wanted the '

'

labor vote.

At Avoca, Kelly gave a representative of the Asmore definite statement of the demands of his army than had been hitherto expressed. The principal item was a scheme for putting the unemployed to work on projects for the reclamation of arid lands. By the time the work was completed, he thought, the workers could have saved enough to carry them through a year of farming on the lands that they had reclaimed, thus sociated Press a

developing ''from homeless wanderers into steady farmers and property owners." ''If we can only get to Washington", he said, "if we can let the lawmakers see that we are breadwinners, honest and sincere, we will be successful in our mission, for our demands are not unreasonable". He added that Congress was not to be asked to issue any "special funds or bonds": the financing of the project was to be left entirely to the discretion of the la^vmakers. As the column neared Des Moines the farmers along the way were no longer so enthusiastic as those in the western part of the State and wagons

KELLY'S ARMY became

339

Desertions reduced the force for a time to about eleven hundred, but Kelly firmly refused to allow his men to capture a train, insisting scarce.

would ruin the cause. For several days the army kept up its pace of twenty miles a day, and finished by attempting a forced march of forty miles into Des Moines, through the night of that such action

April 28th.

Des Moines had been making preparations for the The People's Party Political Club had appointed a committee, headed by the ex-presidential candidate of the party. General James B. Weaver, to arrange for the entertainment of Kelly's men. General Weaver sent word to Kelly at Atlantic that sentiment in Des Moines was very favorable to the army and that he was endeavoring to secure railroad transportation from Des Moines to Washington, with every prospect of success. The invaders.

on the other hand, who felt less of this favorable sentiment than the Populists did, prepared to prevent any demonstrations when the army city authorities,

arrived.

Apparently Kelly planned to enter the city in time Sunday morning, but he reckoned without his host. It was a long hard march, the farmers gave little aid, it rained, and the General lost his way. Morning found the men in camp at Walnut Creek, where they were visited by General Weaver. When they finally approached the city they were detained by the police, shivering in the for a great ovation on

THE PALIMPSEST

340

came up, and it was late in the afternoon before they marched to the stove rain, while the stragglers

works, an unoccupied three-story brick building where they were quartered during their stay. Brass bands and parades were forbidden. On Monday night a meeting was held in the inter-

army in the Trades Assembly Hall. General Weaver, who was called upon to speak, comest

of

the

pared the situation with the French Eevolution. He told how in Congress he had seen petitions on the clerk's desk carted off by the janitor without having been read. The right of petition was a farce. ''Here", says a reporter, ''the crowd yelled for air", and the meeting was adjourned to the courthouse yard, where General Weaver explained what the army wanted free silver to right the crime of 73", and appropriations to irrigate arid lands in the West. Kelly announced that he had intended to be in Washington on May 1st but, although he had not been able to do so, he would persist if it took '

:

'

until Christmas.

During the sojourn of the army in Des Moines, Kelly also spoke to the students of Drake University, which made it seem advisable to the trustees of the institution somewhat later to issue a denial that they had any special sympathy for him. The Drake students did more than listen to Kelly, however; they investigated his army. They recorded what information they were able to obtain from the men and President B. 0. Aylesworth compiled statis-

KELLY'S ARMY tics

from

763

men

this material.

The

results

341

showed that of

questioned as to their nationality, 549 proOf the foreign born,

fessed to be American born.

came from the British Isles or British dominions, and more than a fourth from Germany. Most of the remainder were from western Europe. Eighty-three trades and occupations were represented among the 425 men examined who claimed to have any. In politics, 240 were Populists, 218 were Eepublicans, 196 were Democrats, 81 were undeThere were 358 cided, and 11 were independents. Protestants and 280 Catholics, while 114 said they had no religion. The average time since the men had been last employed was six months. The Iowa State Register printed summaries of the stories of about fifty of the men. Many of them stated the wages at which they were willing to work half a dozen wanted *' union" or ''standard" wages and the rest named amounts varying from one to two dollars a day. Seven said they were willing to Of the men in Kelly 's army do any work offered. said a Register editorial, "perhaps not more than two-fifths



'

'

'

',

eight out of every ten belong to the real industrial classes, but the fact that the professional roadsters

have taken to marching

in armies is only a

mani-

among

labor-

festation of the discontent that exists

men." The Coxey fiasco at Washington occurred while Kelly was in Des Moines. At first Kelly had asserted that the industrial army movement had no ing

THE PALIMPSEST

342

connection with the Coxey

'

movement

Ohio

then he said that he would cooperate with Coxey if he arrived in Washington on time; now he attacked Coxey 's lack of generalship. Coxey should have waited, he thought, until the western armies came up to support his demonstration. ''His whole fate", said Kelly, ''depends upon my army. The in

.

.

;

.

whole west, especially the laboring element, is with me and my men in our mission. The laboring men form the bulk of the voting population, and these demonstrations have already had their effect upon the western congressmen." Coxey, therefore, had no one but himself to blame for his failure. The army had not been in Des Moines long before the food supply began to run short, and donations came in slowly. After a few days the camp at the stove works was reported to be so filthy and insanitary that there was danger of a pestilence. But the army grew a new company was formed, and a count of the men on May 3rd showed thirteen hundred and fifty in camp. The city council asked Kelly to move on, but the men were tired of walking and the transportation question again became crucial, both for the industrials, who wanted to go east, and for the citizens who wanted to be rid of them. At this juncture James R. Sovereign, the General Master Workman of the Knights of Labor, appeared unexpectedly in the city, declaring that the army would not walk out of Des Moines if it was necessary "to tie up all the railways in Iowa" in order to get .

:

.

.

KELLY'S ARMY concessions from them.

343

On May

3rd a delegation of three hundred laboring men, headed by General "Weaver and local labor leaders, called upon the

Governor and urged him to find some way to move the army. Governor Jackson agreed to make another attempt to get it to the Mississippi if it would agree to go by steamboat down to Cairo and thence up the Ohio. The railroads, however, steadfastly declined to furnish a train for anything less than passenger rates.

Finally a scheme for moving the

army was

con-

Flatboats were to be built and the army was to be transformed into an "industrial navy" cocted.

and sent down the Des Moines River.

Des Moines

carpenters furnished tools and helped in constructing the boats, while the industrials, working busily

"Kelly's navy yard", were visited by thousands who rejoiced in "the prospect of the departure of the enormous white elephant that has squatted down upon the city." Kelly had stayed in

of people

His army and its friends in Des Moines had begun to get on each other's nerves. On May 9th the army, consisting of about a thousand men, embarked on one hundred and thirty-four boats, and Des Moines breathed a sigh of relief. There were indications that Kelly's hold upon his men was slipping before he left Des Moines. Lack too long.

of discipline, or the weather, or both, soon scattered

the fleet along

Several boats

many

miles of the shallow stream.

manned by Sacramento men (Jack

THE PALIMPSEST

344

London seems to have been one of the ringleaders) got away before the others and picked np provisions intended for the main body. At Ottumwa the famished army was fed, and visited by ten thousand After twelve days of river navigation the flotilla reached the Mississippi. There the flatboats were lashed together into a sort of raft which, with people.

the

army aboard, was towed down

the river.

Southward General Kelly proceeded with his army, past St. Louis where labor leaders gave a flattering reception, on to Cairo where he destroyed his boats, and thence up the Ohio in barges. He was reported to be leading a force of at least twelve hundred men when he approached Louisville, but the whole ascent of the Ohio was a struggle with adversity. The people east of the Mississippi were less hospitable than the farmers of Iowa. Other industrial armies had traversed this region before and the novelty had worn off. After the first of May, Kelly's cause, like Coxey's, had declined. By July his men seem to have been scattered in various parts of Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia many in a destitute condition, to the great annoyance of farmers upon whom they foraged. On July 12th, more than three months after he had left San Francisco, Kelly appeared in Washington with a few of his men. Six hundred more, he claimed, were still on the way. The remnants of other industrial armies continued to straggle into



KELLY'S ARMY

345

the capital and by the end of July there were twelve hundred or more encamped in the vicinity. Although Populist Senators and Representatives talked and introduced resolutions, Congress did nothing for the unemployed. The living petition was a failure, and the petitioners faced starvation.

General Coxey,

now

a Populist candidate for Con-

Washington and advised his men to beg until they were arrested and thus obtain food at public expense advice which few cared to follow. The behavior of the industrials continued to be characteristic of law-abiding workingmen rather gress, visited



than of professional vagrants. Even during the starving time a reporter noted that in one of their camps the chickens from the neighboring farms wandered about with impunity, although the commander, wistfully regarding one of these birds, warned it that if the situation grew much worse he feared for its safety. Kelly returned to California to work for the cause. Other leaders took to the road to raise funds.

The

authorities of Maryland and the District of Columbia at last took measures to dispose of the armies, and the men were shipped to cities in the neighborhood of their homes. By the middle of August the camps were deserted, and this strange crusade of the unemployed was ended.

Donald

L.

McMurry

Lieutenant Jefferson Davis Jefferson Davis visions of the

tall,

!

To many

the

name conjures up

angular President of the Confed-

erate States of America.

But

to others, familiar

with the story of frontier days in western Illinois and Wisconsin and in eastern Iowa, the name is a reminder of a young second lieutenant, fresh from West Point, reporting for duty at old Fort Crawford. Indeed, the crumbling ruins of old Fort

Crawford recall to the mind of the visitor at Prairie du Chien many interesting tales of the frontier, among which the experiences and the romance of the gracious young officer from the South are of more than passing interest. Jefferson Davis was only twenty years of age when he graduated from West Point in July, 1828, but he was every whit an officer, so his comrades testified. Distinguished in his corps for his military bearing and his lofty character, he was considered a perfect type of a southern ^'West Pointer". In stature he was tall and erect. His complexion was fair, his features delicate, his forehead high, and his blue eyes were large and clear. His whole conduct was indicative of self-esteem, pride, determination, and personal mastery. Such was the young man who, after a vacation at 346

_

LIEUTENANT JEFFERSON DAVIS

347

home of his brother in Mississippi, took passage on a Mississippi River steamboat for Jefferson Barracks at St. Louis, accompanied by his faithful negro slave, James Pemberton. He arrived at Jefferson Barracks late in the autumn of 1828 and was assigned to duty at Fort Crawford which, at Prairie du Chien, shared with Fort Snelling at the Falls of St. Anthony the task of guarding the frontier of the the

Upper

Mississippi.

In the early months of 1829 Davis was detailed to superintend the cutting of timber on the banks of the Red Cedar River in northern Wisconsin. The task consisted mainly of cutting the logs on the banks of the river, dragging them to the water, fastening them together in large rafts, and guiding them down to the Chippewa River and thence to the Mississippi. When they arrived at Prairie du Chien, they were used in constructing new fortifications and buildings at the fort. It was very hazardous work to direct some of the rafts over the rapids of the small streams, and the Indians Avere hostile and often very troublesome. But Davis's power to meet exigencies

through

successfully

many

carried

them

all

safely

a serious predicament.

Once the company was hailed by a party of Indians who demanded a trade of tobacco. As they appeared to have no hostile intentions, Davis and his men paddled over to the bank to parley. Someone in the party discovered, however, that their peaceful tones were merely a cloak to hide their

'

:

THE PALIMPSEST

348 hostility,

and warned Davis of the danger. The pushed out into the stream and

soldiers hurriedly

with fury, followed them. chance white men had against such experienced paddlers, Davis conceived the idea of rigging up a sail with a blanket. A strong and treacherous wind made this rather dangerous but, as it was a chance between certain death from the Indians and possible death from drowning, they were willing to risk every available chance of escape. The sail was quickly hoisted and the contrivance worked well. They soon sped on far ahead of their enraged pursuers and the Indians had to yield the race to Davis. Not long after Jefferson Davis came to Fort Crawford, a strange coincidence occurred. George W. Jones, whom he had known at Transylvania University as a friend and classmate, was at that time living at Sinsinawa Mound, about fifty miles from Fort Crawford. ^'One night about nine o'clock", Jones writes in his autobiography, I heard a voice hallooing outside. I stepped out and could barely see two men on horseback. The near one said 'Does Mr. Jones live here?' I replied: *I am Mr. Jones.' Can we get to stay all night with you ? 'Yes', I replied, 'but you will have hard fare, for I have no bed. I can give you some buffalo robes and hobble your horses out, as my horse is. But where are you going?' I asked. the

Indians,

yelling

Eealizing what

little

'

'

'

'

LIEUTENANT JEFFERSON DAVIS

»

replied: 'To Fort Crawford, at Prairie

He jhien.

349

du

'

'Where are you fromr 'From Galena.' 'Why, sir, you are twelve miles

your road.' He then asked: 'Mr. Jones, did you ever go to jollege at Lexington, Kentucky?' off

'Yes, I did.'

name of 'Do you remember a college boy by the Jeff. Davis r 'Yes, I shall never forget that dear boy.' 'Well,' he replied, 'I am Jeff.' his horse, and I jumped out, hauled him from in and sleep in aid: 'Dear Jeff! You shall come

my

bunk.

'

'

Zachary In the summer of 1829 Lieutenant Colonel

commonly called "Old Eough and Ready", command was transferred from Fort Snelling to the Taylor,

with Fort Crawford. Taylor brought his family daughbeautiful his wife, his son, and three him young ladies pretty the of The presence ters. of homehearts doubtless spread commotion in the southerner proved sick young officers, and the young of



no exception. Davis was Soon after their arrival, however, important post ordered to Fort Winnebago, another

to be

commanded on the northwestern border. It rivers on Wisconsin portage between the Fox and Lakes to the Missisthe waterway from the Great the

sippi River,

operaand was the strategic center of

THE PALIMPSEST

350

tions in case of attack

by the many tribes of Indians Here again, he was busy with improvements upon the fort. Life at Fort Winnebago was not as severe anc trying as at some of the other frontier forts. Exliving in northern Wisconsin.

cursions, reconnaissances, card playing,

and

theat-

improvised by the young officers and theii wives occupied the spare hours. Davis had several ricals

pieces of furniture

made

from the heavy timber

for the officers' quarters

of the region.

Some

of this

furniture has been preserved and is highly valued by the antiquarians of Wisconsin. In 1831 Davis returned to Fort Crawford and was

ordered up Yellow River in Wisconsin to superintend the building of a sawmill. His diplomatic powers were severely put to test there, for it was no small task to keep the Indians in the neighborhood in a friendly state of mind. But he soon learned that

flattery

and good management were much

cheaper and more effective than cold lead, and were also easier to apply. He gained the regard of all the surrounding tribes to such an extent that he was: dignified with the title of '^ Little Chief". For one of his experience his success as superintendent ofi

was remarkable. After his return from the Yellow River assignment, Jefferson Davis was sent by his commanding: the sa^vmill

Zachary Taylor, to effect the removal of the miners who were unlawfully working the lead mines in the vicinity of Dubuque. Trouble had been officer,

LIEUTENANT JEFFERSON DAVIS

351

threatening in the Galena-Dubuque region for some The Indians opposed trespassing on their time. land, while the miners felt that an ungrateful gov-

ernment was thwarting their right

A

veins of lead. fearless miners

failed

and

feeling ran high

and

from the Iowa

young Davis faced a difficult The situation was tense:

!

to exploit the rich

previous attempt to dislodge the side

had

task.

Davis, however, had known

whiskey flowed freely. some of the miners previously at Galena and the influence of his friend, George W. Jones, aided him in handling the situation. Determined not to resort to force, he held many conferences with the miners

an effort to settle the question peaceably. Mrs. Varina Howell Davis in her book, Jefferson Davis, Ex-President of the Confederate States of America, A Memoir, relates that on one occasion Davis had arranged to meet several of the miners for a conference at a little drinking booth in the Before his arrival about vicinity of the mines. twenty-five miners had already assembled. A friend, who had heard the miners threaten to kill the lieutenant if he entered the cabin, begged him not to go But Davis, his daring challenged to the fighting in. point, boldly entered at once, greeted them all pleasantly, and added, ''My friends, I am sure you have

in

thought over to

'

my

my

success.

proposition and are going to drink So I will treat you all". "Whether

admiration of his daring or a reconsideration had changed their attitude is not known, but whatever it

THE PALIMPSEST

352

I

was, they immediately gave him a hearty cheer. Negotiations went more smoothly after that.

Davis worked patiently and persistently and did succeed in persuading the miners to leave the Iowa land and to recross the Mississippi. With the as-

:

|

\

surance that their claims to the lead-mine region] would be recognized after a treaty had been made with the Indians to open the Iowa country for settlement, the miners packed up their tools and left peaceably with their families. The situation had been diplomatically and deftly handled by the southern lieutenant. Years afterwards Davis wrote of

|

'

this episode, ''It

has always been to me a happy was accomplished without resort to force, and, as I learned afterward, that each miner in due time came into his own." Like the sudden bursting of a storm spreading

memory

that the removal

terror in a peaceful valley

came the Black Hawk alarm throughout northwestern Illinois and southwestern Wisconsin. Black Hawk, smarting under his alleged wrongs, recrossed

War

in 1832 to cause

from his new home in Iowa to his and thereby touched a match to the powder of the short and decisive struggle which brought together men and officers who later became famous on the battle-fields of Mexico and in the Civil War. Fate decreed that two men one destined to become President of the United States of the Mississippi old

home

in Illinois,



America, the other to guide the course of the Confederacy were to participate in the Black Hawk



;

LIEUTENANT JEFFERSON DAVIS

353

War. One was then a captain of Illinois volunteers the other was a lieutenant in the regular infantry. Mrs. Davis claims that the paths of the two men crossed during the campaign in Illinois. It is enitirely possible that the officers met, and they may have messed together. The dramatic tradition, however,

that

Jefferson

Abraham Lincoln of

stitution

the

Davis

administered

to

the oath of allegiance to the Con-

United States seems to be

ill-

founded.

Although Davis conducted himself with credit to company in the Black Hawk War he is remembered more for an event which occurred after the Indians had been crushed and Black Hawk captured than for any exploits during the struggle itself. When it was decided to send Black Hawk and his braves down to Jefferson Barracks, Davis was ordered to conduct them there. The prisoners were well treated by their young escort, for courtesy to a his

fallen foe

tions of

' '

was then considered one of the first obligaofficer and a gentleman The proud old

an

'

'.

chief appreciated the kindly attitude of Davis to-

ward him, and spoke ography

of

him thus

in his

autobi-

:

"We boat,

started for Jefferson Barracks in a steam under charge of a young war chief (Lieut.

Jefferson Davis), ness.

He

is

treated us with

I

called at

much

kind-

young chief, with was much pleased. On our way Galena and remained a short time.

a good and brave

whose conduct

down we

who

354

THE PALIMPSEST

The people crowded to the boat to see us, but the war chief would not permit them to enter the apartment where we were, knowing, from what his own feelings would have been if he had been placed in a similar position, that w^e did not

wish to have a gaping

crowd around us." "With Black

Hawk

confinement at Jefferson Barracks, Lieutenant Davis again returned to Fort' Crawford. His friendship for Sarah Knox Taylor in

soon ripened into ardent love w^hich was reciprocated by the charming daughter of Old Rough and Ready". Colonel Taylor, it is said, always considered his own presence necessary to the proper entertainment of his daughters' callers. One writer is inclined to think that the ''young men of to-day w^ould not care to have their prospective fathers-inlaw quite so attentive as Taylor was to his prospective sons-in-law. He insisted on being present on '

'

the occasion of their visits; and

when

tattoo

was

sounded, he would yawn and say, 'It is time for all honest people to be in bed.' That meant that the

young man had to leave." The Colonel's presence did not bother Sarah's suitor in the least, however, for it was not long before their engagement was announced. When the news was told to Taylor, he remarked that he had the kindliest feeling for his daughter's choice, but he

had hoped that none of his daughters would ever marry into the army, for none knew better than he the trials and anxieties of a soldier 's wife. His fair

LIEUTENANT JEFFERSON DAVIS

355

too laughter soon convinced him that that was not was It way. r.rivial an obstacle to place in their changed: ong, however, until the '' kindliest feeling" 1

bitter quarrel arose

between Davis and Taylor



one which never abated. garrison, court martial had been ordered at the Major Tom ilaylor acted as president, while Davis, for reported just Smith, and a young officer who had When they duty constituted the rest of the court. in civilian appeared officer assembled, the young had uniform clothes, offering the excuse that his Taylor, who was a at St. Louis.

A

been delayed

stickler for rules

any

and customs, refused

to consider

in full cases until the officer could take his seat

angry discussion over the question bitthereupon ensued between Taylor and Smith (a vote A ter feud already existed between the two). was called for and, much to Taylor's surprise and with the chagrin, Davis voted with Smith to go on

uniform.

;

An

Taylor became so enraged that he turned to any Davis Mith an oath, declaring emphatically that question on a Smith man who would vote with Tom

trial.

like that could

:

:

i

never marry his daughter.

He

for-

bade him to ever enter his home again. in The transfer of Davis from a second lieutenant and the infantry to the position of first lieutenant him adjutant of the First Dragoons in 1834 took Arkansas. Gibson, Fort away from Fort Crawford to But if Taylor had hoped that the removal of Davis would change the attitude of his daughter, he was

:

THE PALIMPSEST

356

very much mistaken.

Distance did not affect their! pretty romance in the least in fact it was chiefly on account of the separation that Davis resigned his



commission that year.

On June 30, 1835, he severed connections with the United States army. Then it was, certain romanticists tell us, that he returned to old Fort Crawford to settle the dispute all

with Taylor. Miss Sarah told her father that, as he? could allege nothing against the character of her fiance, she intended to marry him soon. But neither time nor distance had abated the stubborn father's! i

feelings,

and he

marriage. And stubborn fathers,

refused his consent to their regardless of silly feuds and is said, the young couple planned

flatly so, it

At night, choosing the darkest hour before the dawn, they would steal forth from the fort escape to the other side of the river be secretly to elope.

;

I

;

i

married at McGregor and return to the fort as man and wife. Only the mighty river and the bluffs towering high above the elopers, mute witnesses to the ;

thrilling escapade, could be trusted with their secret.

This, the romanticists tell us, actually happened, Some insist that they never returned to the fort but

hastened away down the Mississippi to Kentucky. It is one of the legends woven from the traditions of the iron-barred window and the old sentinel post which still remain in Prairie du Chien as eloquent reminders of the romance of frontier days. But

romance and facts often disagree. Historians say that it was not the silent bluffs of the Mississippi

,1

i

:i

'

l

j

j

LIEUTENANT JEFFERSON DAVIS

357

witnessed the marriage but a peaceful southern The true story is that plantation in Kentucky. shortly after the departure of Davis from the fort, Miss Taylor decided to go to live with her aunt in Kentucky. She engaged a stateroom on the steamer A last appeal was 6'^. Louis and prepared to leave. made to her father but the firm and unyielding ;hat

He never saw his remained resolute. daughter afterward, and the estrangement between him and Davis never healed during her life. Miss Taylor remained with her aunt until Davis •came for her after his resignation at Fort Gibson. Two of the Colonel's sisters, his oldest brother, and other members of the Taylor family were present at Colonel

the marriage.

The young couple then

left for the

jDavis plantation, "Brierfield", on the Mississippi

'some thirty miles below Vicksburg. Their romance, was short lived for in the autumn of that [year the young bride caught the fever then so preva(however, ilent in

And

the lower Mississippi region, and died. so to-day, whether the reader admires or con-

demns the

later career

of Jefferson Davis, only

by his conduct as a young lieutenant in the Upper Mississippi Valley. Eomance and adventure, hardship and pleasure, love and a great sorrow are the chapters in the story of

[kindly thoughts are aroused

I

i

Lieutenant Jefferson Davis.

DOEOTHY MacBbIDE

Comment by

the Editor

THE TEMPER OF THE WEST

"The

West", said Woodrow Wilson| It was ever thus. the Whiskey Rebellion to the days,

voice of the

in 1911, '4s a voice of protest."

From

the time of

of the Non-Partisan League, the West has again and again expressed dissatisfaction with the conduct of

public affairs.

The

except perhaps for a few years during the period of War, that the East opinionated, intoler-

the Civil







358

I

j

and domineering has not been fair to the West. Socially, economically, and politically the two sections have been constantly at odds, and neither has quite understood the other, though the East has seldom tried. The temper of the West has been preeminently one of restiveness under restraint not the restraint of law and order self-imposed, but the repression of native inclinations by outside control. It is inherent in the very nature of the people. Descended from the most enterprising, adventurous, and versatile stock and reared in an atmosphere of opportunity and self-reliance, they have developed what James Bryce called ''the most American part of America". Independence in politics, distrust of big business, and a willingness to experiment are the ant,

|

feeling has always prevailed,!

COMMENT BY THE EDITOR

359

natural manifestations of this temper of the West as natural as the champing and shying of a spir-



ited horse that is restive to the rein.

In America the element of democracy has always been prominent, and the tendency of the people in the West to determine their own policies and select their own leaders has had a decisive effect upon poliWhile the impatient disposition of the West tics. has often been expressed in eager support of reform movements, those movements have invariably developed democratically from below upward. It is almost a truism to say that nothing, either good or bad, can be forced upon the West from above or without,

and that

is

as true of leaders as of ideas or institu-

What

chance has a political scientist to be elected mayor of Chicago or the immigration policy to be an issue in Iowa? The secret of successful leadership in the West is the espousal of a popular cause. To be sure the cause may sometimes be unworthy, and "wise leaders are often deposed but the political ways of the West have the merit of being valuable traits of democspontaneous and sincere racy and are apt to accomplish more than Avelltions.

;





intentioned paternalism.

THE CKADLE OF NEW PAETIES

Most of the important political reforms of the last century have come out of the West. Born of the pressure of hard times and nurtured by wide-spread discontent,

new

parties have arisen in the Missis-

THE PALIMPSEST

360

sippi Valley to protest against the prevailing charof social and industrial development;

acteristics

Situated in the heart of the region from which these protests have emanated, Iowa has been the cradle of

new

parties

and has furnished

their most capable the organization of the Eepublican party to the decline of the Progressives, there has been scarcely a movement in the name of democ-

leadership.

racy and endorsed.

From

human welfare which lowans have not Even Kelly's army received its heartiest

encouragement in

And

this State.

yet, in spite of

such a history, Iowa has no reputation for radicalism. Perhaps it is because the opposition to the *' malefactors of great wealth"

has been essentially sound, though specific remedies have often been visionary. More likely it is due to a fundamental difference in the object of the proposed reforms. Eastern radicalism is individualistic, almost anarchistic while western radicalism is collective and social in character. It is comparatively ;

unselfish



the wholehearted endeavor of coherent communities for the common good. That is the reason why Iowa and the West is the seat of





social politics. J. E. B.

CONTENTS the Rapiijs Ben HuR

361 WitsetsT

The Scotch Grove Trsul 5 ^-t^.^9 Bruce i. Mah^i^^^^ ^ -

-^

398 The Editor

~-^\^-:,

.Published MoNTHivAr lowAUTir By

iriESlMEHliicS SC^JEIYoFlOWA' INTERED AS SECOND CLASS MATTER JULY 2B 1920 AT THE POST OFFICE AT IOWA CITY IOWA UNDER THE ACT OF AUGUST 24 ItlZ

THE PURPOSE OF THIS MAGAZINE The Palimpsest,

issued monthly

by the

State His-

devoted to the dissemination of Iowa History. Supplementing the other publications of this Society, it aims to present the materials of Iowa History in a form that is attractive and a style that is popular in the best sense to the end that the story of our Commonwealth may be more widely read torical Society of Iowa, is



and cherished. BENJ. F.

Shambaugh Superintendent

THE MEANING OF PALIMPSESTS materials from

were parchments or other which one or more writings had been

erased to give

room

In early times palimpsests

But the eras-

for later records.

ures were not always complete; and so

it

became the

fascinating task of scholars not only to translate the later records but also to reconstruct the original writ-

ings

by deciphering the dim fragments

of letters partly

erased and partly covered by subsequent

The

history of

Iowa may be likened

which holds the records

to

texts.

a palimpsest

of successive generations.

To

decipher these records of the past, reconstruct them, and tell the stories which they contain is the task of

who

those



PRICE

1

write history.

Oc per copy: $ I per year: free to

ADDRESS — The

members

of Society

State Historical Society Iowa City Iowa

The Palimpsest EDITED BY JOHN ELY BRIGGS Issued

Vol. IV

in

November 1923

No.

11

COPYRIOHT iaX9 BY THE STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF IOWA

Over the Rapids Almost as by magic the canoes of Indians and traders, which for years had quietly glided up and down the Father of Waters, gave way to the steamboats and barges of modern commerce. While Iowa was still a Territory and before the advent of railroads, steamboat traffic on the Mississippi had become the principal means of transportation for the produce of the great valley. As the country developed, steamboating grew into a major industry with a rapidity seldom if ever paralleled in the history of transportation. There was glamour and pride of achievement in life on the Mississippi in those virulent days.

On

Upper Mississippi there were two rapids which, when the river was in its lower stages, seriously menaced navigation. In river parlance they were known as the *' Upper" or ''Rock" Rapids above Rock Island and the ** Lower" or "Des the

361

'

THE PALIMPSEST

362

Moines

Eapids, located a short distance above the Des Moines Eiver between Keokuk and Montrose. Of the two the Des Moines Eapids constituted the more formidable obstacle. According to Eobert E. Lee, who made a detailed survey of both rapids in the autumn of 1837 for the Department of War, the Des Moines Eapids extended a little over

mouth

'

'

of the

eleven miles and had a fall of over twenty-four feet. There the Mississippi flowed, he reported, **with

great velocity over an irregular bed of blue limestone, reaching from shore to shore, at all times

covered with water, and through which many crooked channels have been worn by the action of the current. Its longitudinal slope not being uniform, but raised at several places above its general elevation, divides the whole distance into as many pools or sections. The passage over these reefs becomes, during low stages of the river, very difficult, in consequence of the shoalness of the water, its great fall and velocity, and the narrow and winding channels through them; as the river rises, its surface becomes nearer and nearer parallel to a plane tangent to the highest of these points, its extreme fall is diminished, and the only impediment consists in the rapidity of the current. '

When

the river

was

at its lower stages these rap-

and fur traders, and no doubt proved a barrier to the redmen as well. Father Frangois Xavier, writing in 1721 from hearsay, states that a 'league above the mouth of the ids baffled the earliest explorers

OVER THE EAPIDS

363

Moingona, there are two rapids or strong currents of a considerable length in the Mississippi, where passengers are obliged to unload and carry their pirogues '. From this statement it would seem that even then, less than fifty years after the discovery of the upper river by Joliet and Marquette, there had come into existence a well-established custom of '

lightering boats over the rapids.

With

the development of the fur trade a village of

Sac and Fox Indians, with a considerable number of half-breeds among them, took up their abode at the head of the rapids about the year 1770. The chief occupation of these Indians was the service of guiding itinerant traders up and down the river and especially over the rapids. Luggage and merchandise were unloaded and the rugged braves, sometimes assisted by a mule but more often by their

squaws, carried the cargo along the shore to the other end of the rapids. In return for these services they were paid in blankets, baubles, firearms, and whisky. In 1803 the United States came into possession of the country bordering the Mississippi on the west. Two years later, during the summer of 1805, Lieutenant Zebulon M. Pike came up the river from St. Louis in a large keel boat propelled by sails and oars. On the morning of August 20th he arrived at the foot of the Des Moines Rapids. After having passed the first shoal with great difficulty he was met by a party of Sac lightermen consisting of four chiefs

'

THE PALIMPSEST

364

and

fifteen

men

in three canoes.

With them was

"William Ewing, an Indian agent stationed at the

head of the rapids, and Louis Tesson who six years before had obtained a Spanish land grant, set up a trading establishment, and planted an apple orchard near the Indian village. They 'Hook out 13 of my heaviest barrels, wrote Lieutenant Pike, and put two of their men in the barge to pilot us up. Pike described the rapids as being eleven miles long, **with successive ridges and shoals extending from shore to shore. The first has the greatest fall and is the most difficult to ascend. The channel, a bad one, is on the east side in passing the two first bars; then passes under the edge of the third; crosses to the west, and ascends on that side, all the way to the Sac village. In time keel boats, which were widely used by the immigrants who came to the Iowa country, were supplanted by steamboats. The Western Engineer was the first steamer to reach the Des Moines Rapids. Niles' Weekly Register for July 24, 1819, described her arrival at St. Louis and went on to say *

'

'

'

'

*

'

that the

bow

of this stern-wheel craft

**

exhibits the

form of a huge serpent, black and scaly, rising out of the water from under the boat, his head as high as the deck, darted forward, his mouth open, vomiting smoke, and apparently carrying the boat on his back. From under the boat, at its stern, issues a stream of foaming water, dashing violently along. All the machinery is hid. Three small brass field

OVER THE RAPIDS

365

mounted on wheel carriages, stand on the The boat is ascending the rapid stream at the deck. rate of 3 miles an hour. Neither wind or human

pieces,

hands are seen

to help her; and, to the eye of igno-

rance, the illusion

is

complete, that a monster of the

deep carries her on his back, smoking with fatigue, and lashing the waves with violent exertion." The vessel carried an expedition sent by the national government to explore the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, and during the following summer of 1820 it proceeded up the Mississippi to the Des Moines Rapids but made no attempt to go farther. Three years later the steamboat Virginia performed the epoch-making feat of ascending over the rapids, the first steam-propelled craft to accomplish the passage. This boat was about one hundred and eighteen feet long, twenty-two feet wide, and had a carrying capacity of about one hundred and sixty tons. She left St. Louis on May 2, 1823, bound for Fort Snelling with supplies. On the evening of May 6th, according to J. C. Beltrami, a noted Italian traveller who was on board, the vessel set out from Fort Edward but soon returned on account of being too heavily laden to "make a very difficult and dangerous passage at a place called the Middle of the Rapids of the Moine, nine miles above the Fort. By great good luck we escaped from a rock which might have dashed our steam-boat to pieces it was The following day was only slightly damaged." spent in preparation for another attempt at negoti;

THE PALIMPSEST

366

ating the rapids, probably by ligbtering some of the

cargo over, and on the eighth the boat made the ascent ''though not without difficulty". Very soon, encouraged no doubt by the outcome of this first venture, other steamers attempted to run the rapids, and it is recorded that not all were as successful in their efforts as

Mandan,

was the

Virginia.

The

after being on the river ''forty days en

route from

New

Orleans", arrived at the foot of the to ascend, but could get no higher than Filly Rock, on account of heavy draught and the want of a correct knowledge of the channel by the pilot." Later, however, her efforts rapids,

"which she attempted

were crowned with greater success and on at least one trip it is known that she reached Fort Snelling. Within the next six or seven years steamboats became common on the river above the rapids and several began to operate on regular schedules. The business of river transportation gradually assumed the character of an organized industry. It appears that the Virginia, Neiville, Rufus Putnam, Mandan, Indiana, Lawrence, Express, Eclipse, Josephine, and Fulton were the first ten steamboats to go over the Des Moines Eapids and reach the head of navigation at the Falls of St. Anthony. Other steamers, including the Pike,

Red Rover,

Chieftain, Enter-

Shamrock, Mexico, Warrior, Duhuque, Winnebago, Wisconsin, Olive Branch, and the William Wallace, plied the Mississippi along the eastern border of the Iowa country. These pioneer prise, Mechanic, Java,

OVER THE RAPIDS

367

steamboats were commanded by such men as Joseph. Throckmorton, Thomas F. Flaherty, John Shellcross, Henry Crossle, George W. Atchison, M. Littleton, James May, and J. Clark names that are famous in the early annals of steamboating on River transportation developed the Mississippi. apace and became a very prominent factor in the marvelously rapid settlement of the Black Hawk Purchase. Hand in hand with the growth of the steamboat traffic developed the business of lightering. By 1830 the Indians were being crowded out by white men, and five years later lightering had assumed the proportions of a stable, well-organized industry. Towns which became the seat of this industry naturally sprang up at the head and the foot of the rapids. In 1832 Jenifer T. Sprigg made a survey of the Half-breed Tract and laid out a square mile at the head of the rapids on the Tesson land grant and another in 1833 at the foot of the rapids for town sites. The commercial importance of these places,



where Montrose and Keokuk are now located, was noted in a letter from John W. Johnson to the Secretary of War in 1833, and the comment was added that during periods of ''low water the steamboats cannot pass that rapid, and are compelled to unload at those two places, which makes those situations more valuable than any other part of the reservation".

With

respect to steamboating over the rapids the

368

THE PALIMPSEST

depth of the water was classified in four stages, each presenting essentially different conditions. First there was the "high stage" during the spring and early summer months when all boats went over

At this stage, of course, was not necessary. At the "normal

the rapids fully loaded. lightering

stage" the smaller steamboats did not need to resort to lightering, but the vessels of deeper draught were compelled to unload at least a part of their cargo on to lighter-barges which they then pushed over the rapids. The lightermen were employed simply as stevedores and were called "ratters". The river was said to be at "low stage" or "floating stage" when all steamers were compelled to unload and transfer their freight on lighters to vessels waiting at the other end of the rapids. Just before "low stage" was reached the steamboat companies were accustomed to arrange their boats above and below the rapids with respect to size and the amount of draught, those of deepest draught below and the lighter boats above in order to take advantage of the shallower water of the Upper Mississippi. The fourth, or "very low stage", was too low even for the lighters to operate and at this stage freight had to be transported around the rapids on land. In the earlier years the freight was carried along the river bank on the backs of men and burros, while the passengers walked, but after roads were built four and six horse wagons were employed for freight and the Still passengers rode in handsome stagecoaches.

OVER THE RAPIDS

369

later the construction of a railroad again altered the

method of portaging. The lightering business was a seasonal occupation which seldom lasted more than three months when the river was at low stage, usually during the months of July, August, and September but sometimes beginning in June and lasting until November. A majority of the men engaged in lightering disdained to take up any regular occupation during the remainder or greater portion of the year, preferring to loaf until they could again find employment at "profession" as they considered it. Perhaps a few would condescend to work several weeks in the winter putting up ice or to do odd jobs at the brewery to obtain free beer. In the spring they would go out into the hard maple forests Avhich skirted the river all the way between Montrose and Keokuk, and help the half-breeds make maple sugar. In running the rapids the lighters were loaded with great care under the personal supervision of the pilot or a trustworthy assistant. First a row of sacks, barrels, or boxes was laid the entire length of the boat down the center. Then wings were built on each side. Every precaution was taken to see that the cargo was properly balanced. Frequent measurements were made with a hook-gauge to see that the water line was not too near the top of the boat at any point. The loading also depended upon the stage of the river above low water mark and upon their favorite occupation or

THE PALIMPSEST

370

the character of the cargo. If the material being handled was light and bulky the space in the hold of the lighter was sometimes filled to capacity, in which case a bail-way had to be left at intervals to enable the crew to bail out any water that might seep through the bottom of the boat. The lighters were manned by experienced crews, generally consisting of three men two oarsmen, one on each side, and a third, called the ''gouger", who manipulated the sweep-oar at the stern as on lumber and log rafts. In addition, a special rapids



pilot

was

in charge.

Piloting a Mississippi River steamer in the old

days was nothing less than a fine art, and the rapids pilots were masters of their craft. They possessed marvelous skill, amazing knowledge, and resourcefulness equal to almost any emergency. They knew the exact location of every shoal, ripple, swirl, ledge, rock, and snag in the entire eleven miles of channel. They were absolutely familiar with every feature of the rapids in high water and low, in the dark as well as in the light. Indeed, that was part of their business and their success depended upon the accuracy of their knowledge and their skill in manipulating the vessels.

Intense rivalry existed

many

among

the pilots,

and

a reputation was made by some act of heroism or marred by some circumstance over which the pilot had absolutely no control. Occasionally bitter jealousies sprang up and malicious trickery was re-

OVER THE RAPIDS

371

sorted to in order to play even with the other fellow. Pilots have been known to roll a small boulder off the stern of the boat at

some

strategic location in

the channel where a hated rival on the next boat coming down would be likely to get "hung up" on

and consternation. Eunning the Des Moines Eapids was always dangerous and scarcely a day passed without some nar-

it,

to his great surprise

row escape on the rocks, while almost every year witnessed a major accident frequently involving the and boats. As early as 1828 the Mexico struck Steamboat Rock but managed to navigate as far as Nashville before she keeled over. The wreck

loss of life

lay there partially submerged for forty years. The Mechanic and West Newton met a similar fate on

Mechanic's Rock, while the Cornelia, the Northwest, the J. W. Van Sant, and the Alex Mitchell were also wrecked in the rapids. Many a proud packet has been "hung up " on the rocks and floated off by sinking a lighter-barge on each side, fastening them securely to the vessel, plugging the holes in the sunken barges, and then pumping out the water. Thus the steamboat was lifted sufficiently to free it

from the

reef.

Only the most foolhardy captain

ventured to subject his craft to the perils of the rapids during the "floating stage" and then only under the most urgent circumstances. On such occasions the steamer was lightened as much as possible

and a "sound and buoy" route was vance. This was done by a rapids

laid out in adpilot

who

pre-

THE PALIMPSEST

372

ceded in a yawl, sounding every foot of the way and setting buoys at short intervals. There were many famous rapids pilots, but among them the names of ''Sip" Owens, John Barber, Joshua Grore, Valentine Speaks, Robert Farris, and his son, Charles H. Farris, were prominent as men of conspicuous ability. The latter held the record for taking a steamer over the rapids in sixty-one minutes.

The downward freight consisted principally

of

sacked wheat, oats, potatoes, onions, a little corn, and considerable "Galena cotton", as the lead ore

from the mines of Dubuque was called. The upbound freight was of an entirely different character, consisting chiefly of farm implements, stoves, machinery, salt, coffee, sugar, and occasionally some gold coin to pay Indian annuities at the government agencies. Immigrants belongings a motley lot of odds and ends such as household furniture, bedding, and livestock made up no small part of the north-



'



ward traffic. It was not unusual to see such boats as the Muscatine, with Captain Jim West in charge, steaming down the river with her decks loaded to the guards and pushing from one to five barges loaded with grain. The formation of these flotillas was as follows: if there was only one barge, it was pushed ahead of the boat if two, they were lashed side by side as a pair ahead of the steamer if three, they were arranged with one ahead and a pair bedirectly

;

;

(^

'^^

i-j.^S

//
,

\

/C?'«/l

f y mi ^^'^ *^

/^f.

%-

THE HEAD OP THE RAPIDS THIS MAP IS REPRODUCED FROM A SECTION OF A MANUSCRIPT CHART MADE IN 1833 BY J. T. SPEIGG IN CONNECTION WITH HIS SURVEY OF THE HALF-BREED TRACT. AN ORIGINAL DRAFT OF THE CHART IS IN THE CALEB DAVIS COLLECTION OF HISTORICAL MATERIALS IN THE KEOKUK PUBLIC LIBRARY

OVER THE RAPIDS hind, all in front of the

pairs

tandem

373

bow; four were placed two were

in front; in case of five there

three in front and one lashed to each side of the

steamer. Large steamboats have been known to handle as many as fifteen loaded barges. As may readily be seen, this amoimt of traffic created a tremendous business for the lightermen. When the river development

was

at its

peak

in the early sev-

average annual cost of handling the freight over the rapids amounted to about $500,000. In the fall when traffic was heaviest and the river was low it was no uncommon sight to see from fifteen to twenty palatial steamboats lined up at the wharves, both at Keokuk and Montrose, awaiting their turn to be lightered over the rapids. All these boats, with their lights, their crowds, and their music, presented a brilliant spectacle. The hustle and excitement of transferring the passengers, of loading and unloading the freight, and of "wooding up" the boats always furnished a thrill for even the enties,

the

most sophisticated. During the busy season of the year competition in securing prompt services of lighters became very keen and the bidding spirited to a degree of recklessness.

On ordinary

occasions,

when business was

normal and lighter-boats and "ratters" plentiful, the loaders received from ten to fifteen cents an hour for transferring the freight from the steamers to the lighters and the oarsmen from one to two dollars a trip. When business was brisk and hands

THE PALIMPSEST

374

scarce the loaders sometimes received as mucli as sixty or seventy-five cents an hour, the oarsmen from four to five dollars a trip, and the rapids pilots from ten to twenty-five dollars, according to their reputa-

The oarsmen frequently made two and sometimes three in a single day, depending upon the demand for their services and their ability to get back to the head of the rapids and

tion

down

skill.

trips

quickly.

The citing

trip

down over

the rapids

and often perilous.

was always

The oarsmen's

ex-

duties,

rather strenuous while they lasted, ended the instant the lighter touched the levee at Keokuk. pects for another trip were good, the

If pros-

men would

leap for the shore and race to catch the bus that ran

regularly between Keokuk and Montrose and which would haul them back to Montrose for a dollar, but when they were short of money or the chances of a second trip were poor they usually walked back. After the railroad was completed the oarsmen patronizingly helped the firemen ''wood up" and carried water for the privilege of deadheading back

on the engine.

At Keokuk the lighters were turned over to ''ratters who transferred the cargo back to the steam'

'

and reloaded the lighters with up-bound cargoes. These lighters were then towed back up the rapids, at first by man power, then by oxen, later by four, six, and eight horse teams, and at last by steam towboats. Someboat

or

to

other

steamboats

OVER THE RAPIDS

375

times the lightermen propelled the boat up the rapids by poling, bushwhacking, cordelling, or warping. Isaac R. Campbell may be regarded as the pioneer in establishing the lightering industry.

For several

years he operated keel-boat lighters of fifty or sixty tons burden. In 1837, Daniel and Adam Hine suc-

ceeded Mr. Campbell in the lightering traffic, and introduced the regular lighter-boats which were specialized flatboats. With the increase in business a steam towboat, the Ban Hine, was put into operation and as time passed other small light-draught steamboats were added. These men continued in the lightering business until the St. Louis and Keokuk Northern Packet Company gained control. The lightering season ended abruptly each year with the close of navigation on November 15th, when all marine insurance stopped. Consequently, as the end of the season approached, there was likely to be an increasing demand for lightermen, and the resulting high wages attracted many floating laborers who drifted in to take advantage of the situation. To meet this condition the ''ratters" organized a kind of labor union, probably the first to be developed west of the Mississippi. Though it protected the local members against competition from outsiders, effort to regulate wages or hours. themselves it was every man for himself. They stayed on the job during the busy season as long as they could stand, often working as many as eighteen or twenty hours a day for weeks at a time

there

was no

Among

'

THE PALIMPSEST

376

under the stimulus of high wages and good whisky. But woe betide any outsider who attempted to break

was many a ruffian ratter any end in the maintenance of

into the ring for there

who would

stoop to

'

'

'

the closed shop on the rapids. Originally,

brawny Americans

and numerous

Irishmen of the rough and ready type constituted a large proportion of the lightermen and '^ratters" as well as the roustabouts on the steamboats. They were a hard-drinking, loud-swearing, devil-may-care race. After the Civil War, however, the Irish were supplanted by ex-slaves who in a few years practically monopolized steamboat labor. On warm summer evenings these negroes used to come ashore with their banjos at Montrose and Keokuk, while their boats were waiting to be lightered, and play and sing the old plantation melodies until after midnight. They were fresh from the southland, freed from the tribulations and sorrows of slavery, but the old life was still vivid in their consciousness and they sang with hearts full of former memories and

new

inspiration.

Most

were built up the Ohio River in the region of the "prime oak" timber, floated down the Ohio, and towed up the Mississippi of the lighter-barges

On

one occasion at least, during the winter of 1859-1860, John Bunker took a crew of men up the Des Moines River to a sawmill near St. Francisville, Missouri, where there was plenty of good native oak and built two fine lighter-boats which to the rapids.

OVER THE RAPIDS

377

were christened the Hawkeye and the Sucker. These were floated down to Keokuk in the spring after the ice went out. Staunch though the lighter-boats were, they were subjected to such terrific strain, hard usage, and continual scraping on jagged rocks that they were frequently in need of repairs. For this purpose two shipyards were maintained at Montrose the upper one owned by John Bunker and the lower by George Anderson. For many years they did a thriving



business.

When

a boat began to leak dangerously, it had to be dry-docked for repairs. This was accomplished by bringing the boat alongside the shore, placing the ends of four long skid timbers under it, and hoisting the other end of the skids up on wooden horses. Cables were then attached to the boat and by the use of a ''crab", which was a large capstan operated by a horse, the boat was hauled up the skids. The lower ends of the skids were then jacked up so that the repairmen could work with ease under the boat. A crew of eight or ten expert boat carpenters made quick work of their job and the calkers took their turn. Each crack would be tightly filled with oakum. The sound of the calkers' mallets ringing merrily all day long with musical rhythm could be heard several miles up and down the river. After the calkers had finished their work, the cracks were daubed with hot pitch applied with a piece of sheepskin fastened to the end of a round

wooden handle.

THE PALIMPSEST

378

So eflficient were the workmen that very seldom over a day and a half or two days were required for the entire process of repair. The boats, ''as good as new", were then lowered back into the water. In the course of time, as the development of the country increased the commerce on the upper river, there sprang up a demand for speedier and cheaper means of transportation over or around the Des Moines Rapids. Eailroads were rapidly pushing westward, and a company was organized to build a This road was line between Keokuk and Montrose. begun in 1855 and commenced carrying freight around the rapids the following year. The coming of the railroad caused great consternation

among

the lightermen, for they realized that the whistle of the locomotive had sounded the death knell to their occupation. end.

Much

It

was, indeed, the beginning of the

to the relief of the public the railroad

lowered the lighterage charge to fifty cents a ton, between a third and a fifth of what it had been. The Hine brothers, nevertheless, stoically continued to operate their towboats until the government canal was opened in 1877. That put an end to the occupation of lightering steamboats over the Des Moines Rapids, and a once flourishing industry now lives only in the memory of a few of the older inhabitants. Ben^

Hur

WiLsoisr

The Scotch Grove

Trail

The Highland Scot has ever displayed canny sight,

extraordinary

thrift,

fore-

steady industry, and

sturdy fortitude in the face of obstacles.

The more

intimate feelings and emotions of the Scotchman



romance and love of home have been disclosed in the poems of Robert Burns and the songs of Sir Harry Lauder. Such were the characteristics of the Hielanders who came in the late thirties to Jones County, Iowa, and built their log cabin homes in the timber along the sparkling waters of the Maquoketa Eiver.

his tender sentiments of



'

'

'

Theirs

is

'

a simple story of pioneers to

whom

the

Iowa were a promised land for men who were eager to become "lairds" of many acres. At the same time it is a tale of what they were prepared to give Iowa in return. It was a long, hard trail from the bleak Highlands of Scotland by way of Lord Selkirk's Red River Settlement to Jones County, Iowa, yet this was the route by which Scotch Grove pioneers came to the new Territory and added their strength to the laying of the foundations for a Commonwealth. The lot of these people had been a hard one in the desolate northern shires of Caithness and Sutherland in Scotland. Their houses for the most part were one story huts called "shielings" built of unfertile prairies of

379

THE PALIMPSEST

380

cut stone, the

cMnks

stuffed with moss,

and the roof

covered with turf or thatched with straw. If a shieling had a window it was covered with a bit of fish bladder, or the stomach lining of a sheep, or perhaps a piece of paper soaked in fish oil. Chunks of dried peat from the bogs furnished fuel for the rude fireplaces; and the ''reek" or smoke from the smouldering fire often choked the inmates of a hut when the wind, swirling down the chimney, fanned the smoke into the room. '

'

'

'

The struggle for landers

sundry

'

'

food, too,

was

severe.

The "Hie-

rented the land from the several lords and

earls,

paying a large share of their crops for

the use of small patches of arable

soil.

They raised

*'kale" or cabbages, a few turnips, some oats, a

little

and a few potatoes. They pastured sheep on common land where a limited quantity of grass grew among the heather and gorse. The flocks of sheep were limited in number, however, for the gentry preferred to save the grass for deer and rabbits in order that game might be plentiful when his lordship wished to hunt. If, in addition to a few sheep, a family owned a "coo", they were considalmost equal to the gentry. ered well to do "Women and girls spun wool into yarn with the distaff and spindle and wove thread into cloth on a hand loom. Oftentimes the thread was colored and woven into a plaid with the stripes and colors proclaiming the clan to which the family belonged. The women, also, dried oats and barley in a pan over the barley,

the open or



THE SCOTCH GROVE fire

"TRAIL

381

and then ground the grain into meal with a

''quern"

Yet

— laborious work,

all

of

it.

poverty and the hard struggle for happy folk, deeply religious, and loyal to the gentry until the clearances began. The general introduction of sheep farming by the nobility led to widespread eviction of the smaller tenantry. During 1812 and in the spring of 1813 evictions became so general in the Highlands that distress was everywhere prevalent. For a time serious riots occurred. Nevertheless, the Duchess of Sutherland proceeded to clear her land of tenants so as to convert her Highland domain into grazing land for sheep and into deer forests and shooting preserves. In two parishes in Sutherlandshire, Clyne and Kildonan, a single sheep farm displaced a hundred agricultural tenants with all the distress that had attended the earlier enclosures in England. It is recorded that when the Duchess of Sutherland went for a drive the indignant peasants would ring sheep bells in derision as her carriage passed. In vain, the Sutherlandshire tenantry sent a depuin spite of

existence the ''Hielanders" were

from the government some alleviation of the unemployment and destitution. There was no power in the Home Office to offset the

tation to

London

to seek

forces of economic change.

Hence it was that the agents of Thomas Douglas, Earl of Selkirk, found the Kildonan tenants eager to accept his offer to transport them across the Atlantic to his newly established colony on the Red

THE PALIMPSEST

382

River of the North where broad acres and farm implements and a home were to be theirs free. Applications came in from some seven hundred evicted tenants but less than a hundred could be taken. Little did those picked men and women realize the hardships they were to face or perhaps they would have been less eager to undertake the adventure.

Having secured a controlling interest in the HudBay Company, Lord Selkirk acquired from

son's

that organization a tract of 116,000 square miles of

land lying west and south of Lake Winnipeg. It comprised roughly the area now included in the

Province of Manitoba and the northern part of North Dakota and Minnesota. This tract was chiefly unbroken prairie traversed from south to north by the Red River and from west to east by the Assiniboine a region which includes some of the best wheat land of North America. Lord Selkirk's purpose in securing control of the Hudson's Bay Company and in obtaining this huge grant of land was largely philanthropic he hoped to afford relief to his evicted countrymen by establishing a colony in the heart of this land of promise. Accordingly, a shipload of employees had been sent out in 1811 to prepare the way for the settlers Delays in starting from the port of to follow. Stornaway in the Hebrides and unforeseen disasters along the way retarded the arrival of the advance group at the junction of the Red and Assiniboine



:

THE SCOTCH GROVl YRATL

383

Hasty preparations were band of emigrants who arrived two months later. The officers and employees of the North- West Company, rival of the Hudson's Bay Company in the fur trade of the North, looked upon the newcomers as intruders in a territory explored by their men and in which their trading posts had long been established. Various impediments were thrown in the way of the Selkirk

i-ivers until

then

made

emigrants.

August, 1812.

to receive the second

From

the first season, hostility devel-

oped between the settlement and the North- West Company which soon led to an open feud. Such was the situation into which the evicted tenants of Sutherlandshire were headed when they gathered at the port of Stromness in the Orkneys. On June 28, 1813, the colonists embarked on the Prince of Wales and put to sea under convoy of a sloop-of-war. It was a terrible voyage. Ship fever now known as typhoid broke out, and the confinement and congested quarters proved fatal to many. The ship's surgeon was among the first to succumb, the disease spread rapidly to passengers and crew, and there were many burials at sea. Another misfortune was the blundering of the skipper who put the colonists ashore at Fort Churchill, instead of carrying them on down the western coast of Hudson's Bay to York Factory where Selkirk





expected the expedition to land. The settlers, weakened with fever,

made what

preparations they could for passing the winter at

384

THE PALIMPSEST

Fort Churchill.

On

the sheltered, well-wooded bank

of the Churchill River about fifteen miles

from the

they built rough log houses. Thus it was necessary to make a thirty-mile trip by sledge or on snowshoes to the factory store to secure oatmeal and other provisions. Early in November, however, partridges appeared in such numbers that fresh meat was not wanting. In the spring the colonists took up the overland journey to York Factory, travelling on snowshoes, drawing stores and provisions on rough sledges, camping at nightfall, and moving forward with the first dawn of the northern morning. The strongest of the party went ahead to beat the trail for the women and midway in the long procession marched the Highland piper, ''skirling" a ''pibroch" which filled the trudging emigrants with the unbending pride of their race. Thus the weary stragglers carfort,

ried on to

York Factory where they met with

a hos-

After a short halt they continued their journey by boat and reached Fort Douglas at the Forks of the Eed and Assiniboine rivers early in

pitable reception.

the

summer

of 1814.

There, on the site of the present city of Winnipeg, Grovernor Miles MacDonnell welcomed the new colonists, alloted to

each head of a family one hundred

acres of land fronting on the

Red

River, and sup-

plied the settlers with horses, arms, ammunition, tools,

and

seed.

Help was given them

log cabins along the bank of the river.

to erect their

By autumn

THE SCOTCH GROVE TRAIL

385

houses and barns were built, potatoes and other vegetables were harvested, each family possessed some poultry, and a few cows were held in common.

That winter had arrived

Avas the first since the earliest settlers

Forks in 1812 that the colonists found it imnecessary to move south to the Pembina River in order to be near the herds of butfalo for their food supply. Surely this was the promised at the

land.

But the

North-West Company to grew apace. white heat by Governor MacDon-

hostility of the

the apparently firmly established colony It

was fanned

to

nelPs proclamation prohibiting the servants of the North- West Company from taking pemmican, or dried venison, from Selkirk's land, and the of&cers of the

company began a

campaign of subtle During the winter of 1814

resolute

policy against the colony.

at the North- West trading post. Fort Gilbralter, across the Red River entertained the Kildonan men and women at gay parties. By offers of free passage to Upper Canada, by a generous promise of land to each settler who would desert the colony, and by threats, cajolery, and bribes he secured the defection of a large number of the settlers. When the widowed mother of two of the pioneers who afterward came to Iowa was asked to desert the settlement she replied, ''As for me and mine, we will keep faith. We have eaten Selkirk's bread, we dwell on lands he bought. We stay here as long as he wishes and if we perish, we perish."

Duncan Cameron

THE PALIMPSEST

386

During the summer

of 1815 a notice signed

by

Cuthbert Grant, who had been appointed by the North- West Company to command the Bois-Brules, or French-Indian half-breeds, ordered the rest of the

immediately from the Red River. Governor MacDonnell and an attack on the colony compelled the remnant of Selkirk's settlers to retire

The capture

of

colonists to depart. They sorrowfully quitted their homes and proceeded in canoes to the mouth of Red River thence across Lake Winnipeg to a new abode at a trading post on Jack River. With fierce exultation the employees of the North-West Company applied the torch to cabins and barns and trampled

the crops under foot.

In the meantime another party of settlers had been recruited from Sutherlandshire and were en route for the abandoned Red River Settlement. With these ''Hielanders" in the expedition of 1815 came the new governor, Robert Semple. Word of the approaching reinforcements induced the fugitives on Jack River to return to the site of their colony and

upon the arrival of Governor Semple and old neighbors from Kildonan the Scotch began to rebuild their ruined homes.

The

more immigrants, however, only

influx of

added fuel

to the flame of hatred

fur companies.

between the rival

During the following winter the

summer of 1816 the condown upon the Red River Colony

blaze kindled and in the flagration swept

in the attack of Bois-Brules led

by Cuthbert Grant.

THE SCOTCH GROVE TRAIL

387

Governor Semple and a score of men lay dead after the fatal clash at Seven Oaks on the afternoon of June 19, 1816. Again the ill-fated colonists withdrew down the Red River. Lord Selkirk himself now came to the rescue of his unhappy people. With a force organized from the disbanded De Meuron regiment of mercenary soldiers of the War of 1812 he swooped down on Fort William, the headquarters of the North-West Company on Lake Superior, and captured it. Then in 1817 he visited the Red River Settlement where he was able to rally his scattered colonists and to assure them of protection. He listened sympathetically to their complaints, shook the hand of everyone, deeded them tracts of land for a church, a cemetery, and a school, and directed that the settlement should be called ''Kildonan" after their old

home

in Scotland.

To

De Meuron side of the Red

the soldiers of the

regiment he alloted land on the east

River. Arrangements were made for an experimental farm on a large scale, while public roads, bridges, and a new mill site were planned. Moreover, a treaty with surrounding tribes of Indians gave the settlers assurance of freedom from attack

by the savages. Lord Selkirk's vigorous assault upon the NorthWest Company, however, resulted disastrously for him. Arrested and tried for his part in the affair he was found guilty and fined, while those concerned in the massacre of Seven Oaks were acquitted.

388

THE PALIMPSEST

This broke the spirit of Selkirk and he died in 1820 a disappointed man. One year later a union was effected between the Hudson's Bay Company and

North-West Company. Apparently the troubles of the Scotch colonists on the Eed Eiver were over and no longer would they be ground like wheat between the upper and nether millstones of the two rival fur companies. But they were not happy. Farming in this country of long, cold winters and short summers was but little more of a success than it had been in the bleak, rough Highlands of Sutherlandshire. Moreover, there was no market for surplus products when there were any. The school and church promised by the Hudson's Bay Company had not materialized. True, a rector of the Church of England came to the colony; but shades of solemn leagues and covenants and Jenny Geddes with her stool, could Scotch Presbyterians be satisfied with a minister of the Church of England? Grasshopper plagues, too, ruined the crops for two or three seasons and as in the early days of the colony, hunting had to be resorted to for a living. The arbitrary rules of the Company caused much dissatisfaction. Agents inspected everything that was shipped out and all furs had to be sold through the Company. The colonists called the Hudson's Bay Company the ''Smug Old Lady". To the credit of the Company, be it said, however, that honest efforts were made in behalf of the colony. Sheep were brought from the United States at great their ancient foes, the

PC MtURON aOLOICP

SCTTLEHtNT

LORD SLLKIRKS Rtp RIVEQ SETTLEMENT I0l«

TAKEN FROM TMF MANUSCRIPT ORAWINO

IN

COLTMAn's report, public RCCOQD5,

THE SELKIRK SETTLEMENT

THE SCOTCH GROVE TRAIL

389

expense, and horses and cattle were imported from

England

The experimental farm proAt one time when grasshoppers had destroyed the crops, agents of the colony purchased some three hundred bushels of wheat, oats, and peas at Prairie du Chein, Wisconsin, and when the seed was finally delivered at Red River Colony the cost to the Company was at

heavy

jected by Selkirk

cost.

was

like a baronial estate.

said to be £1040 sterling.

Confronted with

all

Red River Colony while

these disadvantages of the the children

grew

to

matur-

the canny Scotchmen began to ponder ways of improving their situation. Word filtered back over the Red River trail from St. Paul of opportunities to buy cheap farms in the rich valley of the Mississippi River in the '' States". Many Swiss immiity,

whom

had sent to the Red River Settlement in the early twenties had already migrated to the reputed Eldorado of the South. Accordingly, in 1835 Alexander McLain went do^vn to the recently opened strip of territory in eastern Iowa known as the ''Black Hawk Purchase". Like Joshua of old he explored the country, and carried grants

Selkirk's agents

back a glowing report of a fertile prairie land, well watered and having sufficient timber for building, located about fifty miles from Dubuque. After his return to the settlement, a group consisting of John Sutherland, with his ten sons and two daughters, Alexander Sutherland, David McCoy, Joseph Brimner, and Alexander McLain with their

390

THE PALIMPSEST

families set out on the thousand mile trek to a

new

promised land. They loaded into their Pembina carts a few possessions bedding, cooking utensils, coarse flour, pemmican, clothing, tools, and some relics brought from Scotland and departed on the long, hard trip. The Red River or Pembina cart was a home invention. They were rude, wooden vehicles put together without a particle of iron. The wheels were without tires, were five or six feet in diameter, and had a tread about four inches wide. From the base of the rectangular body of the cart extended the heavy shafts between which one animal, usually an ox, was harnessed with strips of rawhide. Each cart could carry a load of six or eight hundred pounds which was protected from rain by a buffalo robe or canvas cover. These carts, while crude and clumsy in appearance, would go where another vehicle would flounder. Day by day the caravan crawled slowly southward, while the heavy wheels which had never known grease kept up an incessant creaking and groaning. "When night approached the carts were drawn into a circle with the shafts pointing inward and within this temporary fortification camp was pitched. The animals were either allowed to graze or tethered on the outside of the circle. Every precaution was taken to guard against an Indian attack, and the men stood watch in turn until dawn. Rivers were forded and numerous sloughs and marshes





THE SCOTCH GROVE TRAIL

391

crossed, the wide-wheeled carts leaving a deep track

ground of the lowlands. Mosquitoes, black flies, and gnats tormented the plodding caravan and the mid-day sun beat down without mercy upon them. Sometimes the carts sank to the hubs in mud and water again the travellers were covered in the soft

;

;

with a thick coat of dust as the carts in single file rolled along the Red River trail. Sometimes roving bands of Indians approached and killed a cow which the settlers could ill afford to lose. On they came, making about fifteen miles a day, across the present State of Minnesota and down the west side of the Mississippi River to Dubuque. The same fortitude that enabled the tenants of Kildonan to brave the perils of a long ocean voyage and to endure the hardships at the Red River Colony enabled this first group of Scotch pioneers to push on to the banks of the Maquoketa River. Although the effect of the long and toilsome journey of almost four months was traced on nearly every face in lines of care, the sight of their

new home

restored hope.

Along the banks of the river, as far as they could see, a belt of timber marked its course. Before them stretched the fertile prairie in an almost unbroken level to the sky line. The prairie grass was most luxuriant and the fall flowers, richly tinted, bloomed on every side. The future loomed large. In 1838 a second band came from the Red River Colony to the Scotch Grove settlement. In this party, among others, were Donald and Ebenezer

'

THE PALIMPSEST

392

Sutherland and Donald Sinclair with their families. Mrs. Sinclair had been a waiting maid in Scotland and her stories of court life were in continual demand by her companions. Her husband was a peaceable, devout man yet fearless in defending his rights. It is related that on this trip one of the bachelors in the group spoke insultingly to Mrs. Sinclair, who replied, ''If you say that again, I'll slap your mouth. "I'll do more than slap your mouth," was the '

man's retort. Suddenly from somewhere appeared Donald Sinclair who had by chance overheard the conversation.

"Ye '11

hae to slap me, first, mon," he said quietly, and then he proceeded to administer a thorough thrashing to the man who had annoyed his wife. This entire

trip, like the first

summer and

the

emigration, occupied the

weary

travellers arrived at

the Scotch Grove settlement in the early autumn.

Again

in 1840 another delegation followed the route

Red River trail to St. Paul and thence south Iowa prairies of Jones County. In this group were Donald and John Livingston, David Esson, and Lawrence Devaney with their families. The Devaneys quit the caravan at Dubuque, where a son was born. In some ways this was the most difficult and disof the

to the

couraging journey of the three principal migrations On the Red River section of the trail the guide took sick and one of the party, in endeavoring

to Iowa.

p

THE SCOTCH GROVE TRAIL

393

his place, led the caravan through the swamps Minnesota for days and finally emerged at the spot where they had entered. Grandmother Livingston was an old lady when this journey began. She could have remained with friends on the Red River but she insisted upon making the trip. She rode in one of the jolting, springless carts and was warned

to

fill

of

not to try to get out of

it

without help.

Somehow

she eluded the vigilance of her relatives one day and

down from the box of the cart and broke a leg. What was to be done? No doctor, no splints! The men set the broken bone and bound the fracture with bark for splints and strips of sheets for bandages. Feather beds were piled in the cart to make the suffering in trying to climb

alone, she slipped

woman

as comfortable as possible but the jolting of

the rude conveyance

was unbearable.

As soon

as

the headwaters of the Mississippi were reached the

men constructed a crude raft on which the injured woman was placed and one of her sons was assigned the task of poling the raft downstream.

The route

away from the river and great apprehension was felt about the progress of the raft and its occupants. When the emigrants again approached the river several days were spent in anxious waiting before the raft was sighted floating downstream. This journey like the others occupied the entire summer but eventually the wayfarers, Grandmother Livingston and all, were welcomed by friends who had preceded them to Scotch Grove. of the caravan led

THE PALIMPSEST

394

During the years of the migrations to Jones County other Scotch ''Hielanders" from Red River Colony came southward but were deflected to other localities. James Livingston, Alexander Rose, and

Angus Matthieson,

for instance, settled in

Upper

Scotch Grove where the town of Hopkinton is located while the Mclntyres, Campbells, and some of the Matthiesons crossed the Mississippi to the leadmine region opposite Belle\nie, Iowa. Pioneer days at Scotch Grove and in Upper Scotch Grove were laborious, yet the settlers were happy for nature was kind to them and the future ;

filled with promise. Log cabins were built, gardens were spaded, and the fields were planted. Everyone worked men, women, and children. To-day a visitor stopping at one of the prosperous homes of Scotch Grove may observe two round stones, six inches thick and about two feet in diameter, used as a door step. These old quern stones, brought from the Highlands to Red River, and thence to Iowa, are mute reminders of the days when two Scotch women, squatting on the floor, alternately pushed and pulled the handle of the upper stone while the wheat, poured by hand into a hole in the middle of the top stone, was ground into coarse flour between the corrugated faces of the quern and fell from the edges to a cloth on the floor

was



below. trees along the Maquoketa supplied the setwith honey which was stored in improvised

Bee tlers

THE SCOTCH GROVE TRAIL

395

made from thick logs. Bunches of wild grapes mixed with the honey made a tasty sance to spread on hot biscuits. The cooking was done in the fireplaces where a crane supporting a heavy iron kettle was swung over the fire. Scones or thin biscuits, were baked in skillets which stood on short iron legs over a bed of coals at the edge of the fireplace. Fried pies a favorite dessert were made by cutting a round crust the size of a saucer, pouring cooked sauce on one half, folding the other half over and crimping the edges together, then frying the pastry in a skillet or kettle of hot grease. To-day a Selkirk teapot, a few copper utensils, some heavy iron skillets, lidded pots with little legs, and a square kegs

'

'

'

',







surviving with perforated sides are the prized possessions of the descendants of these Scotch pioneers. For many years the nearest mill to the Scotch Grove settlers was on Catfish Creek and the nearest market for grain and hogs was Dubuque, fifty miles distant. Then it took a day and a half to go to market while to-day the grandchildren of these pioneers make the trip to Dubuque in almost as many hours. Two of the Livingstons from the Upper Grove on separate trips to Dubuque were frozen to death in prairie blizzards. The wife of one of these men, mother of nine children, set to work with tin candle lantern relics of the

long trail



Scotch fortitude to keep the farm and to raise and educate her family. Her success was another triumph for Scotch frugality and industry.

396

THE PALIMPSEST

The Jones County settlement prospered mateand at the same time religion and education were not neglected. The First Presbyterian Church of Scotch Grove was organized in the log house of rially,

Ebenezer Sutherland in 1841, and has been the center of the community life of the township to this day. In 1851 a church was built and ten years later a larger and finer house of worship was erected by these devout Scotchmen. The eccentric Michael Hummer, of ''Hummer's Bell" fame, was the first minister who served this parish. Other strong men have since been ministers of the Scotch Grove church and their influence has extended wherever the children of the pioneers have gone. The older men and women who came from Red River used the Gaelic language extensively, especially Avhen asking a blessing at meals or in offering prayers in public. During the early seventies a Scotch evangelist came to Scotch Grove to assist the minister. Reverend John Rice, in conducting a protracted meeting". One Sunday, the evangelist consented to preach a sermon in Gaelic. As the impassioned words of his discourse rang out from the pulpit in the language they loved so well, tears welled up in the eyes of these men and women of the long trail and rolled unheeded down their cheeks. The pioneers also provided schools for the '

'

''bairns", first at different

homes

in the settlement,

then in a log cabin schoolhouse built near the center of the township. In 1860 a more commodious schoolhouse was erected. The teacher boarded

THE SCOTCH GROVE TRAIL

397

'round and received sixteen dollars a month for Ms Nor was higher education neglected, for of Lenox College at Hopkinton contain the the rolls names of many Scotch Grove boys and girls who services.

went

to college in the

days when this privilege was number of Iowa's young

accorded only to a small

men and women. wonder was it that in such a locality where industry and religion went hand in hand and where love of home and interest in education were outstanding traits that patriotism, too, was genuine and vigorous. The records of the Civil War show that no men were drafted from Scotch Grove Township in fact, the township furnished more than its quota of volunteers. The muster rolls of the World War reveal the names of many lads whose grandfathers and great grandfathers followed the long trail from the Red River to Iowa. The descendants of these pioneers are proud of Why their families and their Scotch blood. shouldn't they be? The story of the long journey from the Highlands of Sutherlandshire to Lord Selkirk's Colony and by ox-cart brigade to Iowa is a tale of courageous adventure. Let them revere the Little

;

flowers of the clans to which they have a right to

Let them honor their '* tartans" or plaids" backgrounds of green or black or red or blue with fine overlay in lines of contrasting color. Let them thriU with pride to hear the songs of Old belong. **

Scotland.



It is their rightful heritage.

Bbitcb E. Mattatt

Comment by

the Editor

IOWA DIALECT be language in a formal mood. Perhaps it could be described as language in its parlor manners, if it is permissible to use that expression in its colloquial sense. At all events written language tends to become rigid, dignified, and nice. It loses the flexibility of pronunciation, Literature

is likely to

the friendly familiarity, and the flavor of the dialect

from which it sprang. Except for the terms of science and invention, which are taken bodily from the classical Greek or Latin, language grows from the speech of every-day life. There was a time not long ago when dialect words were regarded as barbarisms to be studiously avoided, but now they are recognized as an essential part of the language of a people. Forsooth, nearly all new words that are particularly apt, picturesque, and full of the genius of idiom are dialectic. Dialect words have personality. Being linguistically youthful, they have the vitality and unabashed candor of children. They might be conceived as the second generation of slang grown highly respectable like prosperous tradespeople, and yet they have none of the stilted refinement of literary usage. Every language was once a dialect, bom in igno398

COMMENT BY THE EDITOR

i

399

And it has come to pass that the talk of the common people, even the illiterate, is the fountain ranee.

of perpetual youth in

the southern negro

Narrow

is

any tongue.

The speech

of

rich in distinctive dialect.

interests, provincialism,

new environment,

and an atmosphere of easy democracy are the condiwhich dialects thrive. Under just such circumstances so prevalent in pioneer Iowa much of the ** abusing of God's patience and the King's English" has probably occurred. Life on the Mississippi in early times was espetions in

cially

The





conducive to the coining of dialect words.

lightering crews on the

Des Moines Eapids

spoke the lingo of Mark Twain's rivermen, and probably contributed their share to river dialect. Who but a denizen of the levee would know what ** filling and backing" meant, what a ** sawyer" was, or understand the leadsmen's cry of "mark twain"? A stevedore on the lighter-boats was called a perhaps because he carried grain in and "ratter" out of the hold like a rat, just as the men who handle the baggage of tourists in Yellowstone Park are



"pack rats". A workman who accepts less than union wages or takes the job of a striker is colloquially known as a "rat", and the antagonism

called

of the lighter loaders toward outsiders

may have

earned for them the epithet of "ratters". Another peculiar expression of the lightermen was "gouger ", referring to the member of the boat crew who manned the sweep at the stern, because he gouged

THE PALIMPSEST

400

Ms

oar into the bed of the shallow stream and thus guided the craft between the rocks.

The

settlers of

Iowa came from

little

provincial



communities at the ends of the earth from the New England and the farms of New York, from the tobacco plantations of Virginia and the blue-grass region of Kentucky, from the Red River of the North and various parts of the Old Country and they brought their dialects along. Here they found fur traders, miners, and halfbreeds, each group speaking a tongue of its own. And they also encountered a new environment and devised new modes of living aU of which stimulated the use of new words. No wonder the language of early lowans was rich in dialect. A careful study of dialect words, as Frank L. Mott suggests, would help to determine the geographical origins of the settlers of Iowa. Did they come predominantly from the South, as some suppose, or were they chiefly of New England stock? villages of





Examine

their

speech.

The

words

**

quern'*,

"pibroch", ** scone", "pemmican", and ''Pembina cart" would place the Selkirk Scotchmen of Jones County, though the story of their migration were lost. **reek",

**

skirl",

J. E. B.

CONTENTS The Scrs^Books qf^ Quiet Little lJa# jwfth Sil^^ |K^ Bertha M.

Comment ^^^

R SHAM^iAUGH

^'''~

"

428

The Editor

J"

431

Ihdiex

Published Monthly At lowACmr By

THE StMe HKidcM SoMofIowa !S«5!i55S:54!«5*H^^^^^3SSS

INTERED AS SECOND CLASS MATTER JULY 28 1920 AT THE POST OFFICE AT IOWA CITY IOWA UNDER THE ACT OF AUGUST 24 1912

THE PURPOSE OF THIS MAGAZINE The Palimpsest,

issued monthly by the State His-

devoted to the disseminaSupplementing the other publications of thisSociety, it aims to present the materials of Iowa History in a form that is attractive and a style that is popular in the best sense to the end that the story of our Commonwealth may be more widely read

torical Society of Iowa, is

Iowa History.

tion of



and cherished. Benj. F.

Shambaugh Superintendent

THE MEANING OF PALIMPSESTS materials from

were parchments or other which one or more writings had been

erased to give

room

In early times palimpsests

But the eras-

for later records.

ures were not always complete;

and so

it

became the

fascinating task of scholars not only to translate the later records but also to reconstruct the original writ-

ings

by deciphering the dim fragments

of letters partly

erased and partly covered by subsequent

The

history of

Iowa may be likened

to

texts.

a palimpsest

which holds the records of successive generations. To decipher these records of the past, reconstruct them, tell the stories which they contain is the task of

and

those

PRICE

who



1

write history.

Oc per copy: $ 1 per year: free to

ADDRESS —The

members

of Society

State Historical Society Iowa City Iowa

Copyright 1813, Townfiend Studio, Iowa City

JANE CLARK KIRKWOOD

The Palimpsest EDITED BY JOHN ELY BRIGGS Issued in December 1923

Vol. IV

No. 12

COPYRIGHT t»2S BY THE STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF IOWA

The Scrap-Books of a Quiet Little Lady with Silvery Hair In his preface to The Life and Times of Samuel J. Kirhwood, Mr. H. W. Lathrop speaks of Governor Kirkwood's ''faithful wife" who had from time to

gathered from the public ''and treasured them him press facts relating to up". Whoever remembers Mrs. Kirkwood during

time during his

official life

the almost thirty years that she outlived her distinguished husband knows that no one could

improve upon Mr. Lathrop 's description of her attachment to her scrap-books. She loved them; she planned for them; and she "treasured them up".^ There are evidences that these scrap-books were often loaned to staff correspondents and special feature writers and in his biography of Samuel Jordan ;

lit was after her death in her one-hundredth year, that these of scrap-books were added to the Kirkwood Collections in the library of Mrs. the State Historical Society of Iowa, through the kindness Kirkwood's nephew, Mr. C. S. Lucas of Iowa City.

401

THE PALIMPSEST

402

Kirhwood, as published in the Iowa Biographical Series, Mr.

Dan

Elbert Clark

tells of his

gratitude

Kirkwood who ''generously placed valuable materials at the writer's disposal", and in his notes and references he makes mention of the ''small" and the "large" Kirkwood scrap-books. Both of the scrap-books are of the "Mark Twain" to Mrs.

type, with columns of

clippings are attached.

gummed

lines to

The small book

which the

of one hun-

dred pages with two columns to a page was apparently made up first and contains about two hundred and forty clippings, ranging in length from three lines to nine pages. The large book more intimately associated with Mrs. Kirkwood during the extraordinary one score and ten years above the traditional allotment of three score years and ten that were meted out to her is a volume of one hundred and forty-eight pages with three columns to a page and contains approximately four hundred clippings. Between the leaves of both books are





scattered loose clippings and other

the

number

of one

memoranda

hundred and thirty

to

pieces, cover-

ing a period from 1863 to 1921.

appears that Mrs. Kirkwood had always been "quite a hand to save the papers". Sometimes she clipped news or editorial paragraphs relating to her husband and laid them away, usually without dates or data indicating their source sometimes she preserved the entire paper or the page containing a marked paragraph; and occasionally the date, the It

;

I

THE KIRKWOOD SCRAP-BOOKS name

of the

town

in whicli the

403

paper was published,

written in pencil on the margin. '*A scrap for my scrap-book", reads one marginal note written in her ninety-seventh year. Here and there bits of the handwriting of Governor or other

memoranda were

Kirkwood and

of Mr. Lathrop appear

— showing

the interest of the Governor and his contemporary

biographer in the collection. Snch marginal notes as ''An extra copy of the paper containing the sketch", "From Lizzie", "J.

M. H.", "For Annt Jane", "For your collection", and the presence of many duplicates bespeaks the interest of friends and relatives. Eleven copies of the newspaper story of Mrs. Kirkwood 's ninetythird birthday are preserved in the large book and Now and then an item is blueloose clippings. apparently by the editor who sent the penciled



of the articles bear the corrections of an experienced proof-reader. One of the untrimmed clippings has attached to it the printed notice of a

paper.

Some

clipping bureau

— which might have been a volun-

tary contribution, or possibly Mrs. Kirkwood sought such assistance in collecting materials for her scrapbooks.

Before pasting the clippings in the scrap-books, Mrs. Kirkwood as a rule cut away folio lines and marginal memoranda, though sometimes she wrote in pencil between the columns the name of the newspaper from which the item was clipped. Seldom, except as they occur however, are there any dates



THE PALIMPSEST

404

in the body of the clipping. But with a little study, two-thirds of the items are easily identified; and they represent one hundred and seventy-five different newspapers. Of this number one hundred and]

j

ten are Iowa papers, while the sixty-five papers published beyond the borders of the State range! from New York City to San Francisco. About ninety-seven per cent of the clippings relate directly

i

I

|

to is

Governor Kirkwood. One wonders whether there in existence in Iowa another such collection of the

opinions of the public press of a given period on any

one subject.

The idea of bringing the clippings together in scrap-books, however early conceived, was apparently not carried out until after Governor Kirkwood had retired from public

life. While the small book contains items dealing aknost entirely with Governor Kirkwood as Secretary of the Interior and

with ''political gossip" and ''editorial speculation" regarding "The Next Senatorial Term", here and there in the early pages a reference to his nomination as Representative to Congress

from the Second

Congressional District (1886) slips in, revealing the fact that the scrap-books are a backward look over a

sunny

Perhaps it was the wealth of material dealing with this period that led Mrs. Kirkwood to begin the first book with the clippings pertaining to the Governor's position in President Garfield's Cabinet and it may have been her intention to work track.

;

backward from that period.

j

I

THE KIRKWOOD SCRAP-BOOKS

i

405

That Governor Kirkwood had often been urged to write his autobiography and had thought very seriously of so doing, we learn from various clippings in the scrap-books. ''We have been urging Gov. Kirkwood for years to write a sketch of it" (the famous

war governors of the North), reads a from the Des Moines Register, "and he has

council of the

clipping

always promised to do it, but in the hurry and crowded occupation of a busy life he either forgets it or is unable to find the time to do it. But if he does not do it pretty soon we shall sue him for breach of Such men as he owe a duty to promise

....

to preserve such things to its and it is hoped that he renown, future record and and several others who like him were prominent in

the

Commonwealth

Iowa and during the war, will at least preserve such facts to the future Iowa in some form, either by way of autobiography or otherwise." that It may have been with this thought in mind

early

Mrs. Kirkwood began the first scrap-book. In the end Governor Kirkwood seems to have compromised on the autobiography by assisting Mr. Lathrop in compiling The Life and Times of Samuel J. Kirkwood. This book was published in 1893 and Govthe ernor Kirkwood died on September 1, 1894. On figures of column a is flyleaf of the first scrap-book pages written by Mr. Lathrop referring to certain

where clippings are marked for special attention. best that this It is the belief of those who knew him Kirkwood, was done under the guidance of Governor

THE PALIMPSEST

406

The clippings relating to Governor Kirkwood's position in the Cabinet and his seat in the United States Senate overflow into the large scrap-book; but the hand that '^ treasured them up" is less certain,

and as early as the twenty-fourth page there

creeps in the

first indirect

reference to the death of

Governor Kirkwood in an Interesting Historical Paper reprinted from the May number of the Western Reserve Law Journal. In the unorganized mass of material which fills the remaining one hundred and twenty-four pages of this book, in the duplicated clippings, as well as in the many pages of newspaper reports relating to the death of the Governor, one reads the story of a great sorrow and one realizes, ;

too, that only

a great love could have given the

wife" who ''treasured them up" the strength and the courage to go forward with her

''faithful

clippings. Little its

way

by

little

whatever she had gathered found

into the large scrap-book with little regard

to time or subject matter. Here, for example, are complete newspaper reports of Governor Kirk-

wood's speeches (one as old as the Civil War and some as new as the campaign in the Second Congressional District in 1886) with a sprinkling of newspaper comment and expression of popular

sentiment regarding the Governor in the seventies eighties. Here also are long sketches of his life and public career, with a wealth of tribute, reminiscence, and anecdote. Some of these were

and

THE KIRKWOOD SCRAP-BOOKS

407

written in the twilight of an honored age and others the two generations who had ''loved and hon-

when

ored him as no other said,

"What

wood". "Kirkwood,

man" bowed

a strange Iowa

it

their heads

is

and

without Kirk-

Lincoln," reads a sketch in one was issued shortly after Governor Kirkwood's death, ''was largely indebted for his wonderful popularity to the promulgation by those who knew him best of numerous anecdotes and pleasantries which never failed to like

of the Chicago papers which apparently

win the love and confidence of

his fellow-men.

Ex-

Gov. Kirkwood belonged distinctively to that type of public men, now rapidly passing away, which was bred to hardship and adventure, and which shared the ruggedness and self-reliance characteristic of the generation in which they lived." Anecdotes regarding Kirkwood appear to have been great favorites with the public press. One

newspaper would print a story, which would remind a second paper of another; and these reprinted would call forth new ones. Sometimes these anecdotes were gathered together under the heading of "Kirkwoodiana" or " Kirkwoodisms " which were copied in whole or in part in the newspapers of California, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, and Georgia. And how the Iowa newspapers and the Iowa peoThey deal ple loved these Kirkwood anecdotes! with the Governor's public service and political

THE PALIMPSEST

408

faith, with his horse, his mill, his farm, his dress, his manner, and his personal appearance. They deal with his ability as a public speaker, his sharp repartee, his grim sense of humor, his Lincoln-like gift for apt and homely illustration, and his fearlessness in the expression of opinion. And they deal with his prophetic wisdom, his sense of fair play, his

absolute integrity, his faith in the State of Iowa,

and

his hold on the affections of the

It is not surprising that

many

common

people.

of these anecdotes

found their way into Mrs. Kirkwood's treasure books.

Scattered throughout seventy-eight pages, min-

Man

Eloquent" in action and ''The Eustling of the Leaves of Memory", are many columns filled with the reports of the birthday anniversaries of Governor Kirkwood, ranging from his seventy-sixth birthday, when he "is in good health and with a mental vigor unabated" and is urged by the public press to write his autobiography, to his eightieth anniversary which is reported as "A Notable Day" when a few of his intimate friends met in a body and without public demonstration found their way quietly to the Governor 's gled with items on the ''Old

residence.

Many clippings of various lengths and from various sources tell the story of "The Surprise Party" which occurred less than a year before the Governor's death when friends from all parts of Iowa met under the leadership

of

Hon, Buren R, Sherman

;

THE KIRKWOOD SCRAP-BOOKS

409

'Ho make him a social call'' at the Kirkwood home. was a beautiful thought, beautifully carried out and it was said after his death that this tribute gave the Governor greater happiness than did any public honor in his long public career. '*It speaks volumes of praise for the man", said the Chicago Inter Ocean, ''when in the midst of a great political campaign, with every man fighting for his own political faith as though the salvation of the country depended upon it, the people, without regard to party differences, unite in an old fashioned surprise party to do honor to ex-Governor Kirkwood of Iowa, as they did at his home in Iowa City last Wednesday.'* Under the headline of ''Goodness is Greatness" a note sounded in the speech of Judge Wright received State-wide publicity with much newspaper comment. "Without praise", said Judge Wright when addressing the venerable War Governor on this occasion, "I can say that you are the emphatic exemplification of the fact that goodness is greatness and whether one rules, or plows, or sows, doing one's duty is goodness". Upon which one newspaper comments: "Of all the eulogies of the War Governor that have been written and pronounced, the words of Judge George G. Wright are the purest gold. 'Goodness is greatness' Place it on his monument. Eepeat it to every college student, to every school boy. Send it on the wings of the wind, 'Goodness is greatness' ". Here and there in the last third of the large scrapIt

;

....

'

:



,

THE PALIMPSEST

410



book added apparently long after the clippings which recorded '^Iowa's Sorrow" are full newspaper accounts of the unveiling of the Yewell portrait in the Capitol at Des Moines when Governor



Kirkwood was ''too feeble to be in attendance to hear the words of praise which his old associates were about to bestow upon him". Likewise there are reports of the exhibition of the portrait in Iowa City where for "forty-eight hours, hundreds and hundreds gazed in admiration and veneration upon that dear and familiar face looking out from the frame of gold". It is recorded that Governor Kirkwood admired the picture very much, but insisted that It is better looking than I am.

.... '

'

'

Through the

entire collection of clippings in the

scrap-books runs the theme of the Civil War. Only a few of the references to the great conflict are actual snapshots

but there are a multitude of flashbacks in reminiscences and anecdotes of, and tributes to "Iowa's Old War Governor", in reports of G. A. R. reunions. Memorial Day celebrations, and in the ever present reference to the war in the speeches of Governor Kirkwood. This habit of referring to the Civil War was sometimes deplored in Democratic papers as "waving the bloody shirt" to which Governor Kirkwood was wont to reply (as he did in a stump speech in Indiana) in such language as the following "Now, my friends, I have a profound respect for the bloody shirt.

;

[Loud cheers.]

I sent to the field

I

"

THE KIRKWOOD SCRAP-BOOKS from

my own

ever marched.

411

State of Iowa 50,000 as brave

Many

of

men

them wore the bloody

before they returned home.

[Cheers.]

as

shirt

Many

of

them were buried in their bloody shirts, and never came home. I say that the bloody shirt, to me, symbolizes patriotism as pure, and devotion to duty as earnest, and courage as splendid as this world has ever seen. [Enthusiastic cheers.] I say to you that I have seen men, living and dead, wearing the bloody shirt, the latchets of whose shoes no Northern man who sneers at it ever was or will be worthy to unloose. [Renewed cheering.] I have a profound respect for it, and I have a profound contempt for the spirit that will urge any Northern man to sneer at it. [Great applause.]

With no other Imowledge of the man than that revealed by the headless and dateless collection of

up" by "his faithful wife", one would learn that Governor Kirkwood's devotion to the Union was the great passion of his life, that the agitation for the extension of slavery called into play all his latent force of character, that he followed out the issues of the war to their bitter end, and that he watched and worked with intense interest and passionate earnestness throughout the period of reconstruction. From a reading of these clippings one can easily understand the echo and the clippings "treasured

re-echo of the "right side and the wrong side in that bloody contest", and the voiced distrust of the

"dominating element" of the "wrong side".

'

THE PALIMPSEST

412

Said Governor Kirkwood in a Memorial Day address years after his retirement from the Cabinet: "I want you to teach your children and teach them

and their children's children end of time, that in that fierce struggle which cost so much you were right and they [the South] were wrong. They believed they were right, they were earnest and sincere in believing that they were right, but they were wrong. That there was a period when the charm of Kirkwood for the masses was a powerful factor in Iowa politics, no one who reads the testimony of the one hundred and ten Iowa newspapers represented in Mrs. Kirkwood 's scrap-books can doubt. It was a factor that had to be reckoned with by the politito teach their children

to the

.

.

.

'

cians

—a

sustaining, perplexing, or irritating fac-

upon the viewpoint. Long after the Governor had said of himself that 'my time for such work is past", the persistent Kirkwood influence manifested itself in such newspaper stories as "A Reporter has a Chat with Hon. Samuel J. Kirkwood", ''Interview with Iowa's War Governor", "Governor Kirkwood on the Situation", "Governor Kirkwood on the Judgeship", "Governor Kirkwood on the Pound Bolt", "Governor Kirkwood on the Temperance Question". Fragmentary and in a style that is careless and often crude and on occasions somewhat mixed as to facts, the press clippings of Mrs. Kirkwood 's scrapbooks tell a beautiful story of Iowa's admiration and tor depending

'

THE KIRKWOOD SCRAP-BOOKS love for Governor Kirkwood, and of the Old

413

War

Governor 's faith in and devotion to the young Commonwealth. ''Kirkwood belongs to Iowa". ''No man can serve Iowa as Kirkwood can". "We are for Kirkwood first last and all the time ". " Old Sammy carries his Senatorial seat with him So his tailor says". "If Kirkwood wants it, the rest can hang their aspirations on the weeping willow tree ". " The people of Iowa can trust Samuel J. Kirkwood, and they know they can trust him". "There is more hard meat underneath the rude shell of his exterior than there is in a dozen of your soft-shells who mis-



take noise for argument and self confidence for

"Iowa farmers are not willing that the Old Man Eloquent with his uncouth but sterling honestry and war-tried patriotism should be succeeded by anyone but himself". "We want the Old War Governor kept there until the Great Eeaper comes after him". "No man has ever been such a popular idol to Iowa people". "We say the people of Iowa can make him a candidate if they want to, and that there is no power in Iowa which can stop it". "Kirkwood is the choice of the people and not ability".

the creature of a ring". this State will see to

it

"The common

that their choice

is

people of respected,

regardless of the tricks of a few very small poli-

Such, without retouching, are a few expressions of confidence in "The Old Man Sensible"

ticians".

by "nine-tenths of the people of

this State";

and

THE PALIMPSEST

414

one gathers that the periodical popular outbreaks of ''Kirkwood belongs to Iowa" and "We want Kirkwood" often brought consternation to those who were ambitious of standing in his shoes ", or getting his seat", or '^ wearing his mantle". The scrap-books are a veritable storehouse of evidences of the truth that Kirkwood, in spite of the fact that he was forty-two years old when he came to Iowa, had been thoroughly assimilated by his adopted State and really "belonged". From the day he took up his residence in Johnson County the State's interests and problems were his and when speaking in the East or in the West his statistics and his illustrations were largely drawn from Iowa, with many a fond reference to "what we think about it in Iowa". "In the country where I live, which I wish to remark is the finest State in the whole Union", said Kirkwood in 1883, "we are rearing the typical American, the western Yankee, if you choose to call '

'

'

'

;

man

man of nerve, the man of broad and liberal views, the man of tolerance of opinion, the man of energy, the man who will some him

so,

the

of grit, the

day dominate this empire of ours". In the same speech he adds "You must know that the true Bostonian's sun rises behind Plymouth :

Rock, stops for a time over Faneuil Hall in Boston, and sets near the mouth of the Hoosac Tunnel. But when we get him out here, and knock a little of the nonsense out of him, and rub the varnish off, we find him to be made of true, tough, solid fibre under-

'

:

THE KIRKWOOD SCRAP-BOOKS

415

means a man of veneer. He turns out a pushing, energetic and useful citizen".

neath, and by no

Nor

scrap-book history of her distinguished its record of Jane Clark Kirkwood, the faithful wife ', who had from time to time during his official life gathered from the public press is this

husband without '

'

'

facts relating to

One

him ''and treasured them up".

of the early clippings in the small book reads

''At the Saturday reception of Mrs. Garfield, her

only one, Mrs. Kirkwood, place in the

who occupied her assigned

receiving line,

was singled out

as

Garfield' by some who were superloyally anxious to pay respects to as many of the family as possible. This was not entirely agreeable to a wellpreserved matron of 60, and she repudiated the honor with proper feminine spirit". In the forty

'Grandma

years to be granted her after this Saturday reception", Mrs. Kirkwood never lost the "snap" re'

'

vealed in this clipping.

When

the photograph of

Mrs. Kirkwood, which is used as a frontispiece in this number of The Palimpsest, was taken for the State Historical Society of Iowa in what was then her ninety-eighth year, it was the privilege of the writer to accompany her to the photographer; and one of the delightful memories of that occasion is Mrs. Kirkwood 's repudiation of one of the photographer's proofs because, she said, "it makes

me

look

an old lady "Mrs. Kirkwood, the wife of the Secretary",

like

!

'

THE PALIMPSEST

416

reads a clipping from the New York Tribune, is described as a quiet little lady with silvery hair, who has been comparatively little in society." Commenting upon this characterization an Iowa news' *

paper declared that 'Hhis

is

the

way

that

snobdom

affects to patronize a lady superior in every respect

to

any of

its

component elements.

The

'quiet little

lady with silvery hair' has been 'in society' all her life. There has never been a day that she has not mingled with respectable people and these compose the highest and the best society. Mrs. Kirkwood is able, by virtue of her character, to confer honor up;

on any company in Washington. That dissipated mixture of good, bad and indifferent people which at the Capital is called 'society' might well be proud should Mrs. Kirkwood condescend to patronize it." With the memory of the golden wedding anniversary more than a quarter of a century old and with the shadows lengthening to the eastward, there was little for Mrs. Kirlovood to add to the scrap-book save newspaper references to herself. Newspaper headings had grown bolder and blacker since the days when she figured in the public press as one of the "Queens of the Cabinet", and generous half-tone cuts from photographs of herself had taken history

the place of the etchings from India ink drawings that were copied many times in the eighties. Many late tributes to her

of "Iowa's

and through her

Grand Old Man" are

such headings as

"Widow

to the

memory

found under of the Old War Govto be

THE KlKKWOOD SCRAi>-BOOKS

417

ernor"; ''Mrs. S. J. Kirkwood Honored by tlie Twenty-second Iowa"; ''Old Settlers' Picnic Mrs. Jane Clark Kirlavood Present"; "Mrs. Kirkwood Nonogenarian" and Mrs Kirkwood One and Ninety". Beyond the ninety-third birthday there are no more anniversary items pasted in the scrap-book not because Mrs. Kirkwood had lost interest in her clippings the book was full. So the record of those remarkable birthdays that carried her so close to the century mark joined the loose clippings of the Civil War period, letters that she apparently had hesitated to put into the company of printed matter, a black and gold funeral card announcing the death of Governor Kirkwood, a full front page on the work of Vinnie Eeam Hoxie with special reference to her



'

;

'



:

Governor Kirkwood in the Capitol at Washington, notices of programs at the Kirkwood School in Iowa City, a newspaper story of her Red Cross work at the age of ninety-six, an account of the totem pole at Seattle, and verses relating to the statue

of

Kaiser.

And

pages of this treasured record are filled with notices of the deaths and of the funeral services of relatives and friends. Brothers and sisters who had shared her experience in the timber-cleared country of pioneer Ohio, old neighbors and friends who had helped to rear the young State of Iowa, business and professional associates of an early elder day whose interests were inter-

I

finally the last eight

!

THE PALIMPSEST

418



woven with her own Mrs. Kirkwood had outlived them all! The Mansfield, Ohio, law office, and the Coralville,

now memories of three score years and ten; the old ^'Concord stage" that wallowed through the snowdrifts between Iowa City and Des Moines was only a tale of long ago the Queens of the Cabinet" of the Grarfield administration had Iowa, mill were

'

;

'

passed into history these many years; the beloved adopted soldier-boy, had he lived, would have been a

man

of seventy-eight years; a generation of

men

and women had grown up about Jane Clark Kirkwood since the observance of her own golden wedding anniversary. What wonder that the yellowing fragments of the scrap-books that opened the gate into such a wondrous land of memories were counted among the most precious treasures of her life with a feeling of reverence that one replaces the loose clippings and closes the scrap-books. Like the Old War Governor they, too, belong to Iowa. It is

Whatever may have been her motives, Mrs. Kirkwood has in her scrap-book clippings bequeathed to us a rare album of pictures of the Great Commoner of Iowa", the ''Genius in Homespun", the idol of a people for two generations. Here is something to tempt artists born in Iowa with "the divine fire in '

'

their souls".

Pictures of the dust covered miller, with his trousers stuffed into his boot tops

and a shockingly bad

THE KIRKWOOD SCRAP-BOOKS hat on

Ms head meeting

tus Caesar

Dodge

419

the elegant General Augus-

which ''were second only in importance to the joint debates between Lincoln and Douglas the previous year in Illinois. What could be more picturesque than the *' ox-cart" episode! in a series of debates

'

'

Pictures of the newly elected War Governor, not over careful in his attire, stumping the State and pleading with passionate earnestness for men, money, aid,

ment

and ''one united

effort to save the govern-

in this time of peril".

Pictures of a dominating figure in homespun dur-

when

Iowa had not a surplus dollar to its credit" and when his task as a loyal Governor "exacted the highest form of patriotic faith, a patience that would not be overcome by any ing those dark days

difficulties,

'

'

a perseverance that could not be im-

paired, a knowledge of

men

that would permit

him

to influence them under the most unfavorable conditions, an ingenuity, a faculty of invention which

would be ,always present and ready to meet and satisfy the most exigent demand, and a constitution that would bear up under incessant strains, both mental and physical". Pictures of the meeting of two great commoners, Samuel J. Kirkwood, as Governor of Iowa, and Abraham Lincoln, as President of the United States, the harassed commander-in-chief of the army and navy asked "What can we do for your State?"

when

and the loyal Governor of the young Commonwealth

:

420

THE PALIMPSEST

Iowa replied, The question is not, Mr. President, what you can do for my State, but what my State can do for you." Two great commoners between whom there was said to be a mental and moral as of

* *

*

'

well as a physical resemblance".

Two

giants of

by ''the noble alchemy of toil". Men who sprang from the people and knew them and sympathized with them; who comprehended their wants and their tendencies and who reaching the heights of political preferment yet ever kept in their day, developed

;

closest touch with them.

Not without dramatic quality is the scrap-book story of the nomination of Kirkwood as ''Governor against his will"

when

—a

story of an anxious

moment

the conservative delegates in a Eepublican

State convention faced defeat by the supporters of General James B. "Weaver. Suddenly, to the surprise of friends and foes, a man of kingly stature with hair and beard flowing long and white as snow, arose in his place, secured attention from the chair and with hand uplifted, said with impressive force 'Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of this convention, I present for your consideration as nominee for governor that grand war governor of Iowa, Samuel J. Kirkwood' ". And when asked by what authority use was made of Kirkwood 's name, the man of snow white hair and beard "again arose with uplifted arm and said in tones that reached every nook and corner of Moore's old opera house, 'I nominate '

'

;

THE KIRKWOOD SCRAP-BOOKS Samuel

J.

Kirkwood by the authority

421

of the great

Eepublican party of Iowa " In the wild enthusiasm that followed combinations fell apart, alliances disintegrated, and the nomination was allowed to !

'

stand.

On

Washington the scrap-books take us with Governor as a United States Senator, when ''there were no momentous National issues at stake". The clippings of this period picture the Senator from Iowa as a man who generally wore a to

the Old

War

be bought new for $20 and would not fetch at a second hand store more than one-fourth that sum", but whose "off-hand" speech on the army appropriation bill was "a gem of legal and political oratory", giving to its author "national prominence". Another clipping of the same period pictures the ''suit of clothes that could

man rather than his

clothes

:

"Perhaps the Governor

gained something from his appearance, his manner, the mold in which he was cast. There is a benignity about a strong, rugged, sincere face which carries as forceful an impression as words. It was that quality which lent effectiveness to Webster's words it is that colossal truthfulness which glorifies the homely features of Lincoln. Gov. Kirkwood was cast in a large mold. Early toil had developed his muscles, expanded his chest, bronzed and windbeaten his cheek, brightened his eye, and at the same time had plowed furrows in his brow and hewed out the rough lines of his face. Thus when he spoke to

THE PALIMPSEST

422

men

— in that slow, deliberate, earnest way of his —

what was said took on a certain penetration due as

much

to the

man who

said

it

as to the truth his

words carried with them."

With

one-half of their contents relating to Kirkwood's position in the Cabinet the scrap-books tell

the story of Iowa's ''Genius in

Homespun"

as Sec-

retary of the Interior during President Garfield's administration. Without dates or headlines and

with some confusion as to sequence, the clippings of the time give every phase of his appointment



praise and criticism, political gossip, newspaper

works", and "Vox Populi". There are many verbal pictures from original negatives (without the flattering manipulation of the retoucher's pencil) of the " stalwartizing " of President Arthur's administration, of Iowa's "style of Republicanism" and unbounded faith in "old-fashioned honesty", and of the "practical common-sense" of that "grand representative of the great State of Iowa the Old War Governor Here is an early pen portrait by a staff correspondent of the New York Tribune entitled "The Secretary and his Office": "Secretary Kirkwood carries his sixty-eight years lightly, and can do more hard, close work in a day than most men of forty. ''fire



'

'.

He

has a strong, shrewd, kindly face with high cheekbones, deep wrinkles and heavy eyebrows. A remnant of whisker is allowed to escape the barber high up on each cheek. The gray does not yet domi-

THE KIRKWOOD SCRAP-BOOKS

I

423

nate over the brown in his hair.

His clothes look as a village tailor had constructed them under strict orders to pay no attention to fashion-plates and to make them ample, strong and comfortable. The big slouch hat which he wears on the street must be a veteran of many contests with wind and rain on the Iowa prairies. Its owner never minds the shape it gets into when he swings it upon his head, takes his stout stick and strides out of his office. You would say, seeing him go by: 'What a fine specimen of a substantial, intelligent Western farmer'. This farmer-looking man carries a vigorous, practical brain under his felt hat, and a warm heart under his loose sack coat. He has played a great part in if

young State of the stormy war time, has

the building up of the magnificent

Iowa, was her Governor in represented her many years on the floor of the

United States Senate, and is now at the head of the most exacting and laborious of all the Government Departments. I predict that he will succeed in his new position as he has in the many others he has held."

In the midst of several hundred clippings the reader comes suddenly upon two ''Special Washington Telegrams" which state, among other things, that Secretary Kirkwood can not fulfill the duties of his office", that "he does not understand how to '

'

all the details of the work of his Department subordinates", that "he insists upon reading and to

leave

'

THE PALIMPSEST

424

answering all the letters sent to him", and that, being **one of the most honest men in the world", he seemed to think ''the interior department would immediately get away with his Iowa reputation for honesty if he did not attend to every detail."

Commenting upon these reports the Chicago Inter Ocean declares that The whole thing is a tissue of malicious fiction from beginning to end"; while Iowa papers saw in the concert of these Washington wires "a, conspiracy in some quarter to break the brave old man down and drive him out of the cabinet". In the flood of these newspaper conunents ' *

the Chicago Journal observes that

**it is

now

well

....

understood at Washington that before the 4th of March next Secretaries Kirkwood and Hunt will yield their places to approved Stalwarts who are already agreed upon by Grant, Conkling, Cameron, Logan and Co., who are the real bosses of this administration, Arthur merely doing their bidding. It is understood that republican Iowa is to be punished for her refusal to go for a third term for Grant in the Chicago convention, by being left out in the cold. Iowa can stand it if the '

....

bosses can. "

' '

It is a

new table

'

',

comments the Des

Moines Register philosophically, ''and the men who sit up to it must be able not only to eat the new kind of meat but say that they like it". The tumult of special dispatches dies, and staff correspondents seek new fields. The Washington Post notes the retirement of Secretary Kirkwood in

THE KIEKWOOD SCRAP-BOOKS these words to himself

:

''It is

and

a source of satisfaction

425

....

his friends that he

remained long enough in the Cabinet to verify the hopes that were entertained of his administration, and to disarm the criticisms with which certain of his views were at the outset assailed. He has proved himself an able, sagacious Secretary, above all suspicion of corruption or favoritism, and, retiring as he does by virtue of an assumed political exigency, bears with him the admiration and esteem of his fellow-citizens of all parties."

And

Dubuque Times, voicing the affection of the State of Iowa, declares: ''Father Kirkwood is coming home. That means to Iowa, because all Iowa is his home, and all Iowa loves him as it has honored the

him."

Through her labor

of love the "quiet little lady with silvery hair" has made a contribution to the

source materials of Iowa history that

is

of real

value; and besides, these eight hundred clippings contain much local color for the artist who would use Iowa materials as a basis for literary endeavor. They give us the newspaper English and the everyday speech of the time. They give us sketches that grow in worth as the pioneer becomes more and more of a legendary figure sketches of the old campaign torch-light procession that "marched round and round the park" and of the three hour "rally" through which the "entire audience remained till '

'

'

'

;

THE PALIMPSEST

426

the close

'

'

;

and sketches,

too, of the Civil

War

vet-

eran campfires and regiment reunions, where old soldiers sang patriotic songs and the bugler sounded again the ''mess call" and ''taps". Mrs. Kirkwood's clippings tell us something of the independence of spirit of the Iowa people of fifty years ago; something of their confidence in their ability to do their own thinking; something of their contempt for snobbery and their distrust of the political boss something of their liking for honest convictions and their scorn of "succotash policies"; something of their sense of the value of ;

money, and their fear of ostentation and extravagance; something of their community pride and Commonwealth allegiance; something of their deep affection and their attachment to precious memories; something of their admiration of practical common sense and the square deal, and of their fine regard for old fashioned goodness shyly covered by brusque speech and manner; something of their homely ways and ideals and something of their own faith in the worth of the young Commonwealth. Here in the editorialized news and news laden editorials of the small town "weekly", where dates are often wrong and where many of the "facts" stated ;

are not true, there are reflected with unquestionable accuracy the popular temper and the sentiment of



temper and sentiment in "the times of Kirkwood" "family disposition" of the recognizes one which the

Iowa

of to-day.

THE KIRKWOOD SCRAP-BOOKS

427

I

Such

—a

is

the story of Mrs. Kirkwood's scrap-books of headless, dateless clippings.

collection

It is the story of the

''Hero in

Homespun" with

a roughly sketched background of the young Commonwealth of Iowa. Not only did the ''quiet little lady with silvery hair" compile a unique record of the life and times of

Samuel

J.

Kirkwood, but her

clippings suggest a wealth of literary possibilities

Iowa history and give added words of Frank Luther Mott: "It requires no very strong faith, and no very robust courage as a prophet, to predict that the day of the Iowa pioneer in literature is only dawning since the Middle West possesses the natural, historical and cultural elements of background which are essential in the materials of

meaning

to the

for literature."

Bertha M. H. Shambaugh

Comment by

the Editor

IOWA STATESMEN

Men from

Massachusetts are now preeminent in Calvin Coolidge is President, John W. Weeks is Secretary of War, Oliver W. Holmes and Louis D. Brandeis are Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, Frederick H. Gillett is Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Henry Cabot Lodge is the majority party floor leader in the Senate. Such a condition is not accidental: it is the result of personal ability, experi-

the national government.

and the recognition of merit. The prominence of particular States in national politics was the fear of the Fathers and the realization of their children. It was at once the danger of the Union and the vindication of democracy. The discovery and acceptance of trustworthy leadership is a measure of the capacity of a people for selfence,

government.

No lowan

has ever been President of the United William B. Allison narrowly missed nomination in 1888 when election would have been practically certain; in 1892 James B. Weaver polled the largest number of votes ever won by a third party candidate except Lincoln and Roosevelt; and Jonathan P. Dolliver might have been Vice States — though

428

COMMENT BY THE EDITOR

429

President in 1901. Nevertheless Iowa has contributed much to the statesmanship of the nation. It is only necessary to mention the astute Augustus C.

Dodge, the brilliant James W. Grimes, the honest man-of-the-people Samuel J. Kirkwood, the judicious Samuel F. Miller, the cautious William B. Allison, and the eloquent Jonathan P. DoUiver in order to indicate the continual prominence of Iowa

men in Washington. And there have been

occasions, as in 1902,

when

Iowa, like Massachusetts, seemed conspicuous for its political talent. During the first year of Eoosevelt's administration Allison and DoUiver occupied positions of leadership in the Senate, Leslie M. Shaw was Secretary of the Treasury, James Wilson was Secretary of Agriculture, David B. Henderson

was Speaker

of the

House

of Representatives,

and

William P. Hepburn, as chairman of the House Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, was formulating the most epochal legislation of the first decade in the twentieth century. Democracy must have leadership. Fortunate is

Commonwealth like Massachusetts, Iowa that honors its own prophets.

the

Virginia, or J. E.

B.

INDEX [Note

— The

names

of

contributors

printed in small capitals. are printed in italics.]

The

Abbott Station, mention of, 274 Ackley, doctor of, 268; trip of

Johnson

to,

experiment

James Wilson director ue

of,

Mag

272

Agricultural

station,

67; val-

of,

73

Agriculture,

study

of,

67,

73,

380,

381

James

Committee on, Wilson chairman of, 94

Agriculture, Agriculture,

77 ;

Alex Mitchell

(steamer),

accident

to,

371 Alexandria (schooner), capture of, 36 Algonquin Indians, meeting of, by Nicollet, 209 Alliance (schooner), capture of, 36 Allison, William B., vote of, for removal of national capital, 154; influence

of,

428, 429

Allouez, Claude, mission of, 213 Almirante Oquendo (battleship), fate of, 105, 106, 107 Alvarado (battleship), guarding of, 107, 108

Amusements, description of, in early Iowa, 14, 25, 26 Anamosa, Rainsbargers at, 279 Anderson, A. J., play directed by, 16 Anderson, George, shipvard owned by,

377

Arthur, Chester A., signing of bills by, 86; reference to, 422, 424 Assiniboine River, location of, 382 Associated Press, demands of Kelly's army received by, 338 Atchison, George W., steamer com-

manded

by,

367

Atherton, Gertrude, reference to, 281 Athletics, beginnings of, at State Uni-

137

Atlantic Ocean, capture of transports on, 36; crossing of, 104, 381 Attorney General of Iowa, conference with, 329 Atwood, Sylvester F., information souglit by, 42 departure of, from boat, 43 capture of, 46 Auditor of State, speech by, 103 Avoca, Kelly's army at, 388 Aylesworth, B. O., statistics compiled ;

i^nticosti gift of,

Island,

of, 76 mention

Bailev,

to Joliet,

Orchard,

HuR Wilson,

241;

by

Ben

248

lesson's,

121-131 Arcadia, grasshoppers at, 200 Arkansas Indians, meeting of, with Marquette, 235 Art, materials for, furnished by Iowa pioneers, 253

W.

D., record of, in field meet,

148 Baptist Church (Los Angeles), R. J. Burdette pastor of, 192 Barber, John, service of, as pilot, 372 Barges, freight on, 372, 373 Barrette, W. J., record of, in field meet, 147 Barrows, Willard, guide book by, 295 Barry, Thomas, experiences of, in winter of 1881, 113-120; experiences of, with grasshoppers, 193-

202 Baseball, throwing of, 143, 144, 147 Bass Islands, trip of Island Queen of, 48 John Yates, rank 34; wounding

44; passing

of, 34; famof, 34, 38; refuge of, in Chew mansion, 34, character of, 35; 35, 36; exploits 36-52; bribe offered by, 50; of, trial of, 50, 51, 52; appeal of, to Confederate government, 52 reprieve granted to, 52 execution

Beall, of,

341

bv,

Ayrshire (Scotland), birth of James Wilson in, 66

to,

Animals, distribution

Apple

and

;

United States Secretary appointment of, 67, 72 advice 69; term of, 77

Agriculture, of,

in The Palimpsest are of all other publications

articles

versity,

Iowa

State College of, James Wilson professor at, 67; leave of absence from, 72 Agriculture, United States Department of, quotation from report of, 72, 73; work of, 73, 74, 75, 76,

of,

of

titles of articles

ily

of,

;

;

of,

52

Beardsley,

Charles,

speech

by,

431

on

THE PALIMPSEST

432

capital removal, 162, 163, 164; opinions of, 179 Beauregard, Pierre G. T., camps of, 8; retreat of, 12 Bedford, early settlers near, 25 entertainments in opera house at, 26 Bee trees, use of, 394, 395 ;

Beecher, Henry Ward, lecture by, 177, 178; mention of, 190 Bellevue, voyageurs at, 226; Scotch settlement opposite, 394 Beltrami, J. C, report of, 365

Bemis family, home Bennett, bridge,

of,

34 to,

Risden, report by, 81; objection of, to suspension of rules, 85; vote demanded by, 87, 88 Benton County, election returns from,

Bennett,

83 study

of,

35,

68; quoting

of,

69

179-183 Biography, meaning of, 99, 100 Birds, study of food habits of, 76 Black Hawk, testimony of, against T. F. Riddick, 130; reference to, 286; exploits of, 352, 353; capture of, 353, 354; quotation from, 353, 354 Black Hawk Purchase, report of surveyors of, 288; settlement of, 367; agent in, 389 Black Hawk War, 352-354 Blackrock College (Dublin), athletes from, 138 Bleness, William E., report of, concerning Kelly's army, 337 Blizzards, description of, 256-260 Bloomington (Muscatine), amusements in, 14 Bluff Park (Montrose), celebration Bilderback,

at, 227 Boardman,

meet,

"Bob"

Mr.,

0.,

stories

record

148 Burdette

Sherman

J.

of,

in

field

— Humorist,

by

of,

McNally, 173-192

Boilvin, Nicolas, work of, as Indian agent, 134, 135 Bois-Br
386, 387

Bonson, Robert, service of, in athletic meeting, 138, 146; record of, in field meet, 143, 144, 147 Boxing, contest in, 144, 149 Bradlev, J. H., James Wilson represented by, 79, 80 Bradv, James T., service of, as counsel, 51 Bradv Street (Davenport), mention of,

56

;

"Brierfleld", plantation,

357

John E., comment by, 30, 31, 63, 64, 99, 100, 132-136, 170172, 203, 204, 249-252, 281-284,

Beiggs,

321-324,

358-360,

398-400,

428,

429 in

of, Joseph, interest 308, 313; bridge sold

320

Bible,

Brainard, J. M., remarks by, 200 Brandeis, Louis D., ofSce of, 428 Breadstuffs, demand for, 53 price of, 57, 61 Brebeuf, Father, service of, 207 Bridging the Cedar, by Bruoe E. Mahan, 307-320

Beiggs,

John Ely,

Legislative Epi-

sodes, 90-98 Beiggs, John Ely, Louis Joliet, 240-248 Brimner, Joseph, coming of, to Iowa,

389, 390 Brooklyn (battleship), station of, 104, 105; signal by, 105 Brooklyn Bridge (New York), mention of, 307 Brooklyn Eagle, Burdette's articles in, 191 Brown, Timothy O., B. T. Frederick

represented by, 79

Browne, Carl, Coxey converted 326 Browne, Gibson, attitude of, on

by, rail-

roads, 93 Brownlie, Mr., wheat raised bj', 56 Bryce, James, quotation from, 358 Buchanan, James, cabinet of, 37, 38 Buffalo York), (New attempted wreck of train near, 51 Bunker, John, work of, 376, 377; shipyard owned by, 377 Burdette, Robert J., characterization of, 173-192; remarks by, 174, 191, 192; career of, 174-192; letters of, 176-178, 191; experiences of, in Cuba, 178; newspaper work of, 178, 179, 180; lectures by, 190, 191; pastorate of, 191, 192 Burke, Mr., membership of, in theatrical company, 18, 22 Burley, Bennett G., part of, in plot, 41, 42, 49

Burlington, amusements at, 14; R. J. Burdette at, 189, 190, 191; voyageurs at, 226; protection association gt,

295

Burlington Hawk-Eye, Burdette's position

with,

178,

179,

180,

188-

191; growth of, 179; report in, concerning bridge, 312 Burns, Robert, poems of, 68, 379 J. M. D., business of, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58; agent sent by, 55 ; remarks by, 55 ; visit to grain men, 58; plan of,

Burrows,

53,

out of,

60;

;;

INDEX 61;

money

carried

433 importation

by,

Cattle,

301-306 M. D., A. Pioneer Journey, 301-306 Burrows, J. M. D., Ventures in Wheat, 53-62 Burrows and Prettvman, business of,

Cedar,

profit

of,

301; trips

Burrows,

of,

J.

57; loss to, 55, 62; 57; financial status 62 Bushyager, Bowie, lynching of, 284 Bushyager, Pitt, lynching of, 284 Butter, market for, 74, 75 Byers, S. H. M., poem by, 103 53, 54, 55, 56, profit of, 56, of,

58,

Bridging

of,

the,

389 by Beuce

E.

Mahan, 307-320 Cedar County, purchase of wheat in, 60 Cedar River Suspension Bridge, history of, 307-320 Central Labor Union (Council Bluffs),

army

Kelly's

334, 335 Cervera, Pascual

de,

aided

fleet

to

Chambers, drill

104;

of,

Iowa, 108, 109 Alexander, orders in charge of, 10

visit of,

by,

2

of,

Samuel de, explorations by, 206, 207; appointment of, as governor, 207; death of, 210

Champlain, Cairo (Illinois), Kelly's army

at,

343,

344 Caithness (Scotland), emigrants from, 379, 380 Calhoun, John C, opposition of, to new Territory, 287, 288

Charles

Cnlifornia, newspapers of, 407 Cameron, Duncan, entertainment bv, 385 Cameron, J. D., work of, as political boss, 424 Campbell, Ed, episode concerning, 98

146, 148 Chautauqua Hill (Council Bluffs), Kelly's army at. 330, 331 Chesapeake Bay, Beall's party on, 37 Chew, Thomas J., sawmill of, 33 mansion of, 33, 34 Chew, Mrs. Thomas J., aid given by,

Campbell, Isaac R., explorations of, 128; service of, as lighterman, 375 Campbell, Sen, membership of, in Pleasant Hill Dramatic Club, 26

394 215 newspapers from, 15; John Y. Beall's adventure in, 38; refugees from, 40; island near shore of, 41; arrest of Burley in, 49; emigrants from, 214, 296; mention of, 240 place of Joliet in history of, 247 Cape Diamond (Canada), mention of, 241 Capital on Wheels, The, by Jacob A. Swisher, 151-169 Capitol, National, burning of, 151;

Ctimpbells, settlement by, Campion College, view of,

Canada,

;

opposition to appropriations for, 169; industrial armies in 168, front of, 326, 327 Carpenter, C. C, message of, concerning grasshopper victims, 196,

C, telegram sent

J.

48 Cartier, Jacques, voyage 41;

office

of,

in,

36, 38 Catfish Creek, lead mill on, 395

Cathcart,

40,

to,

of,

description Cascade, mansion Carts,

148

petition

35 Chicago

of,

to,

22

field

meet,

theater in, 18; 58; wheat shipped to, 59, 60; mention of, 333, 359 Chicago and Northwestern Railway, construction of, in Tama County, 91; mention of, 202; attorney for, (Illinois),

Burrows

at,

328

and Rock Island Railway, of freight on, 58; wheat shipped on, 58, 59; cars furnished reconstruction of, 92 by, 60 strictions on, 93 Chicago Inter Ocean, report in, 409,

Chicago price

;

;

424 Chicago Journal, comment by, 424 Chicago River, mention of, 236 155; Chicago Tribune, editor of, opinion of, as to Iowa delegation, 156; quotation from, 336 Chieftain (steamer), voyage of, 366 Chippewa River, guiding of timber

down, 347

197 Carter,

(England),

II

204 "Charles II", performance Chase, C. P., record of, in

C, record

of,

389,

206 390_

33; spy

in,

34-

Chitty on Pleading, mention of, 262 Church of England, rector of, in Red River Colony, 388 Cincinnati (Ohio), National Capital

of,

on,

204;

in field meet,

at, 169 of, 331; de331; mass meeting of, conference of committee of,

Convention Citizens,

mined

mands 332; 333 Civil

indignation

of,

War, mention

of,

66,

70,

282,

THE PALIMPSEST

434

352, 358, 376; effect of, on capital removal, 153; records of, 397; Kirkwood's speech on, 406 clippings of, 410, 411, 412 ;

Clark, Dan Elbert, remarks by, 402 Clark, G. H., record of, in track meet, 144, 147 Clark, J., steamer commanded by,

367

C, support

Clay, Clement

ganization

new

of

for orTerritory, 289, of,

290 Clay, Henry, opposition of, to Territory, 288, 289 Cleveland, Grover, inauguration

new of,

84, 86 Cleveland (Ohio), march to, 39 Cleves, Rainsbargers at, 277, 278 Climate, weekly report of, 75 Clinton, voyageurs at, 226 Close, Cicero, candidacy of, for office of Speaker, 97 Clyne (Scotland), enclosure in, 381 Cobb, Mr., boxing contest of, 149 Code of 1851, mention of, 262 Cole, Charles H., instructions given to, 38; money given to, 38, 39; report of, 39; plans of, 40; arrest of, 41; failure of signals of, 48; imprisonment of, 50; discharge of,

50 Colon

(battleship),

destruction

of,

106, 107 Columbia River, valley of, 287 Comment by the Editor, 30, 31, 63,

132-136, 170-172, 203, 204, 249-252, 281-284, 321, 324, 358-360, 398-400, 428, 429 Committee of the "Whole, debate in, on removal of national capital, 168 "Commonweal of Christ, The", deriv64,

100,

99,

ation of, 326; arrival of, at ington, 326, 327

Concord

stage,

mention

of,

Wash-

418

Secretary

of

War

of,

37

Confederate navy, master in, 34, 41 Confederate prisoners, release of, 37 Confederate Spy, A, by Bruce E. Mahan, 33-52 Confederates, defeat of, 5, 12, 37, 48, 49; attack of, 7, 46; condition in camps of, 8; burning of Alliance by, 36; plans of, concerning prisvessels oners, 39 report by, 40 captured by, 46, 47, 48, 49; reviolation of turn home of, 49 rules by, 49; letter to agent of, 52 ;

;

;

66

102

;

167,

new to, to,

election

of

James Wilson

appropriation by, for Iowa, debate in, on capital removal, 168, 169; discussion in, on ;

Territory, 285-290; petition 325, 326, 345; Representative

404

Congressional Globe, debate on capital removal printed in, 168 Conkling, Roscoe, work of, 424 Connecticut, James Wilson in, 66, 67 Conqueror, The, reference to, 281 Conscription act, enforcement of, in South, 8 Constitution of Iowa, vote on amend-

ment

to,

97

Contested Election, A, by Jacob Ek, 78-89 Coolidge, Calvin, position

Van

428

of,

Cooper, James Fenimore, mention

of,

282 Cooper Institute (New York), R. J. Burdette at, 176 Coralville, mill at, 418 Corinth, The Siege of, by Clint

Paekhuest, 1-13 Corkery, Chas., coffee house maintained by, 15 Corn, husking of, 113; scarcity of, 116, 117, 120; eating of, by grasshoppers, 195 Cornelia (steamer), accident to, 371 Cornell College, representation of, in athletic association, 139 participaof, in State field meet, 145, ;

tion 146,

148, 149 Coues, Elliott, report of, 135, 136 147,

Council Bluffs, grasshoppers Kelly's army Counterfeiting,

at,

at,

200;

328-334

activities

in, 270 crown attorney,

of

Rains-

bargers

County Court

346, 352 offer to,

to,

assurance

given by, 49

Confederacy, agents of, 37, 40, 49, 51; appeal to, 52; President of,

Confederacy,

Congress,

Beall martial, 50, 51, 52; quarrel

convicted in,

by,

355

Courthouse, activities of ring at, 260, 263; reference to, 299 Cowden, A. M., record of, in field meet, 148 in membership of, Huston, Cox, Pleasant Hill Dramatic Club, 26 Cox, Nellie, tennis match won by, 146 Coxev, Jacob S., march of army of, 325-327; reputation of, 326; arrest of, 326; arrival of, at Washington, 326, 327, 345; ridicule of, 327; mention of, 341; opinion of

concerning, 341, 342; fail342; advice of, 345 William, and Sons, visitors at shipyard of, 101 Kelly

ure

Cramp,

of.

;

INDEX Crapo Park (Burlington), pageant at, 227 Creely, Theresa, marriage of, to Tesson, 125, 135, 136 .Crimean War, 57, 61 Crisis, The, reference to, 282 Cristobal Colon (battleship), destruction of, 105, 106 Crops, weekly report of, 75 prices of, 325 Crossen, Frank, membership of, in Pleasant Hill Dramatic Club, 26 Crossle, Henry, steamer commanded by, 367 ;

Cruikshank, Alexander, visit of, to L. H. Tesson farm, 128 Cruikshank, J. P., report of, 128; interest of, in orchard, 131 Crum, John V., track record of, 137 Cut Nose, Chief, home of, 128 Cutlery, use of, as money, 20

M. E., opposition of, to removal of national capital, 166, 167

Cutts,

Dablon, Claude, blessing invoked by, 243, 244 Dairy products, problem

of, 74, 75 (towboat), use of, 375 Davenport, amusements at, 14 firms in, 53, 59; produce market at, 55, proposed flour mill in, 56, 59, 62 57; wheat shipped from, 58; price of wheat in, freight saved 59 from, 61; voyageurs at, 226; men-

Dan Hine

;

;

;

tion of, 302 Davis, Jefferson, of,

;

;

of,

Davis,

in Mississippi Valley, 357 Jefferson, A Memoir, quota-

tion from, 351, 352 Davis, Lieutenant Jefferson, by Dor-

othy MacBride, 346-357 Davis, W. R., record of,

in

field

meet, 147 Davis, Mrs. Varina Howell, book

351

Delaware River, Iowa 110

of,

on,

101.

De Meuron Regiment, attack allotments made to, 387 Democrat, election

of,

by,

102.

387;

78

Denmark, butter from, 75 Dennison, George B., purchase of Tesson orchard by, 130 De Pere, Marquette at, 236, 237 Deserters, surrender of, 8 Des Moines, Republican State Convention at, 168; capital established at, 203; mention of, 328, 335; Kelly's army at, 338-343; unveiling of Yewell portrait at, 410; stage route

Des Moines 337, 338 Des Moines

to,

418

Capital,

County,

quotation from, suggestion

for

removal of national capital to, 163 Moines Rapids, apple orchard near, 121; survey of, by R. E. Lee, 130; location of, 361, 362; Pike at, 363, 364; steamers at, 365, 366; accidents on, 371, 372; canal around, 378 Des Moines Register, quotation from, clipping from, 405 98 comment

Des

;

;

424 Des Moines River, proposal by,

national

capital

to,

to

152,

remove 155;

French and Indians on, 204; Kelly's army sent down, 343 mouth of, 362; sawmill on, 376 ;

Detroit (Michigan),

agents sent by, 37, 51; mention of, 129; description of, 346, 347; securing of timber by, 347, 348 meeting of, with George W. Jones, 348, 349; achievements of, at Fort Winnebago, 349, 350; regard of Indians for, 350; miners removed by, 350352; statements of, 351, 352; meeting of, with Abraham Lincoln, 353 Black Hawk guarded by, 353, 354; statement of Black Hawk concerning, 353, 354; transfer of, 355; quarrel of, with Col. Taylor, 355, 356, 357; resignation of, 356; legend of, 356; marriage of, 356, 357; plantation of, 357; conduct

38; orders

435

office in hotel at,

passenger en route from, 40 passenger boat at, 41, 42 Detroit River, passage of boat up, 48 Devanev, Lawrence, journey of, to Scotch Grove, 392, 393 Dialect, discussion of, 398-400 Discontent, prevalence of, 325 Discovery of Iowa, The, by Bruce E. Mahan, 215-228 District Attorney, United States, assurance given to, 49 District of Columbia, proposals to re-

40

;

move national capital from, 169; Kelly's army in. 345

151-

Dix, John A., request forwarded by, 51; sentence approved by, 51, 52 Doctor, frontier, 261

Dodge, Augustus C, appointment as

delegate

Convention,

National 156; picture to

of,

Capital 418,

of,

419; prominence of, 429 Dodge, Grenville M., vote of, for removal of national capital, 154; appointment of, to National Capital Convention, 156 Dodge, Henry, democracy of, 322

THE PALIMPSEST

436 Jonathan

Dolliver,

P.,

importance

of,

hopper Times, 193-202

Donovan,

Josephine

Barry,

The

Winter of Eighty-One, 113-120

Doone Band, An Iowa, by Jocelyn Wallace, 267-280 Doone robbers, comparison of Hardin County outlaws with, 267 Dougherty, James, membership of, in Pleasant Hill Dramatic Club, 26 Douglas, Stephen A., reference to debates

419

of,

capital supported by,

al

with, 230, 231 Dubuque, Julien, mines of, 122, 204; acquaintance of, with Tesson, 123,

amusements

at,

14

;

first

theater in, 15 visit of Burrows to, 54, 303-306; market at, 54, 395; railroad to, 91; lead mines near, 122, 350, 351, 372; voyageurs at, 226; character of people at, 290, ;

meeting of miners at, 292; visit shipped from, 372 to territory near, 389; arrival of Scots at, 391, 392 Dubuque (steamer), voyage of, 366 Dubuque Ferry, journey from, 255 Dubuque Times, report in, 425 Duchouquette, Marie, marriage of, to Tesson, 135 Dumoulin, Amaranthe, mention of, 136 Dunlap, William, plays by, 16, 17

294;

lead ore

;

82 domain, right companies to, 90, 91

Eminent

Enclosures,

lowans. The, Robeson, 285-300

by

Geo.

East River (New York), Bridge over, 307

Brooklyn

(steamer), rapids crossed by,

366 remarks by, concerning the Iowa, 103 description of, 262

Editor,

;

203,

Comment by 99,

204,

the,

30,

31,

63,

132-136, 170-172, 249-252, 281-284, 321-

100,

in

railroad Scotland,

381

;

;

388, 389

"England's Iron Days", performance of, 16 Englert's Ball Park, use of, by athletes, 140-144 Enterprise (steamer), voyage of, 366 Esson, David, journey of, to Scotch Grove, 391, 392 Eulate, Antonio, surrender of, 108 Europe, price of breadstuffs in, 61; immigrants from, 296, 297 Evans, Robley D., presentation of sword to, 108 Ewing, William, service of, 127, 134,

364 hearing Council, State, held by, 79, 80 Express (steamer), ascent of rapids Executive

366

Representative from, 98 Fairport, Biological Station at, 227 Palls of St. Anthony, Fort Snelling Fairfield,

converted into, 34

64,

of

of,

F.

East, soil in, 76; opinion concerning, 358; radicalism in, 360 East Cascade High School, residence

Editor,

increase

England, John Y. Beall in, 35; market in, 53; alliance formed by, 57; competition of, with Spain, 124; rivalry of, with France, 210, 211; development of, 254 Doone robbers in, 267; reference to, 282; traveller from, emigrants 290 from, 294, 296; enclosures in, 381; shipment of animals from,

by,

Early

Eclipse

155

Eldora, Nettie Rainsbarger taken to, 273; statement filed at, 274; lynching at, 275, 278; Rainsbargers in, 275, 276, 277, 280 Election, Fifth Congressional District, returns of, 78; recounting of votes in, 82, 83 Election, A Contested, by JACOB Van Ek, 78-89 Elections, Committee on, report by, 81,

Douglas, Thomas, agents of, 381 Drake, Mary Lord, Iowa christened by, 101, 102 Drake University, address of Kelly to, 340; Kelly's army investigated by, 340, 341 Dramatics, Pleasant Hill, by Bruce E. Mahan, 25-29 Druillettes, Gabriel, Marquette studies

125 Dubuque,

323, 358-360, 398, 400, 428, 429 of nation-

Edwards, Richard, removal

428, 429

Donovan, Josephine Barry, Grass-

at, 347; steamboats at, 366 Funeuil Hall, mention of, 414 Fanning, Timothy, hotel of, 24 Farmers, better conditions for, 72, hardships protection of, 90 73 of, 195, 196, 197, 198, 201, 325; Kelly's army aided by, 334, 344 Farming, articles on, 67; science of, 70 Farmington (Mississippi), Confederates driven from, 5 ;

;

INDEX

r Farris,

Cnarles

pilot,

Farris,

H.,

service

of,

as

372 Robert,

service

of,

as

pilot,

372

Thomas C, play directed by, 16 Federal courts, decisions from, 80 Federal officers, arrest of Enoch Johnson by, 270, 271 Federal Relations, Committee on, resolution referred to, 164 Federation of Labor (Nebraska), Kelly's army aided by, 334, 335 Fences, problem of, 95, 96 Fiction, estimate of, 282, 283 Fassett,

Field Day, The First Iowa, by Bruce E. Mahan, 137-150 Field meets, introduction of, at the State University, 137, 138 Fifth Congressional District, Iowa, election contest in, 78-89 Fifty yard dash, records in, 143, 144, 146, 147 Fifty-first Iowa Infantry, return of, from Philippine Islands, 109 Fighting Point, crew put ashore at,

49

Fort Crawford (Wisconsin), mention of, 129; ruins of, 215, 216; frontier tales of, 346; arrival of Jefferson Davis at, 346, 347, 350, 354; description of, 347; departure of Jefferson Davis from, 355, 356; legend of, 356 Fort Des Moines (No. 1), establishment of, 129; desertion of, 130 Fort Dodge, convention at, 196; coun-

253

try near,

Fort Douglas (Canada), arrival of Scotch at, 384 Fort Edward (Illinois), departure of vessel from, 365; rapids near, 365 Fort Gibralter (Canada), entertain-

ment

at, 385 Gibson (Arkansas), Jefferson Davis at, 355, 356, 357 Fort Lafayette (New York), court martial at, 50 Fort McHenry (Maryland), prisoners at, 37 Fort Madison, voyageurs at, 226 Fort Norfolk (Virginia), prisoners at, 37

Fort

Fort

Filibustering,

use

of,

in

House,

83,

84

Rock (Mississippi River), danger of, 366 Findley, T. P., selection of, as delegate to athletic meeting, 138; election of, on executive committee, records of, in track meet, 139 144, 146, 147, 148, 149; service of, as superintendent, 146 First Iowa Cavalry, colonel of, 51 First Iowa Field Day, The, by Beuce E. Mahan, 137-150 Fisher, Maturin L., appointment of, as delegate to National Capital Convention, 156 Flaherty, Thomas F., steamer comFilly

;

manded

by,

367

American, part 104-109; in Pacific, 111

Fleet,

Santiago,

of,

in Battle of

maneuvers

of,

Spanish, story of, in Battle of Santiago, 103-109 Flint, T. J. S., business of, 58 Flint and Wheeler, agreement made Fleet,

by,

437

60

Flour, price of, 54, 56, 57, 61; spoiling of, 55; loss on, 55 Football kick, 143, 147 Forrest, N. B., command of, 38 Fort Churchill (Canada), Scotch at, 383: winter at, 383, 384 Fort Columbus (New York), execution at, 52

Snelling (Minnesota), frontier by, 347; Taylor at, 349; Virginia at, 365, 366 Port William (Canada), capture of,

guarded

387 Fort Winnebago (Wisconsin), Jefferson Davis at, 349, 350; location of, 349, 350; life at, 350 Fortieth Congress, resolution in, for removal of national capital, 154 Forty-seventh Illinois Infantry, Burdette's service in, 175 Forty-eighth Congress, contest for seat in, 80-89 final session of, 83 vis;

;

itors in galleries of,

Four hundred and

84

forty

yard

race,

records in, 143 Fourth of July, early celebrations of, 283 Fox Indians, permit granted by, 122 Fox River (Wisconsin), ascent of, 213; portage at, 349

France, alliance with, 57; fur traders of, 206; confusion in colonies of, 207; hope of, to conquer America, 210, 211, 243, 244; Talon recalled to, 244; emigrants from, 294, 296 Franciscan missionaries, mention of,

207 Frederick, Benjamin T., election contest of, 78-89; presence of, at hearagents of, 82 handling of ing, 79 ballots by, 82, 83; vote of, for ;

;

Grant

bill,

89

P^eight, kinds of, on Mississippi, 372;

THE PALIMPSEST

438 of shipment

cost

373;

of,

lighter-

ing of, 373, 374 French, hostility of Indians

to, 206 French Indian half-breeds, command of, 386 French River, voyages on, 206, 207, 245 Front Street (Davenport), mention of, 56

Frontenac, Governor, letter written by, 244, 245; Joliet's report to, 246, 247 Frontier, relation of, to sport, 171 Fruits, introduction of, 76 Fuel, slew grass used for, 117 Fulton (steamer), rapids crossed by,

366 Furor 105,

(destroyer), 106, 107

destruction

of,

Battle of Santiago, 107; commander of, 108, 109 Goodrich, C. F., Iowa commanded by,

109 Gore,

Joshua,

service

as

of,

pilot,

372 Gorham,

C. W., election of, as ofBcer of athletic association, 139, 145 Gorrell, Arthur, saber swinging by,

149 "Gougers", work of, 370 Governor of Iowa, daughter of, 101; attitude of, toward Kelly's army, 326, 329, 331, 333, 343; admiration for, 410-414 Governor's Island, execution on, 52 Graham, J. R., grain handled by, 59 Graham and Kepner, agreement with, 60 Grain, introduction of, 76 eating of, by grasshoppers, 195 Grand Hotel (Council Bluffs), crowd at, 333 ;

Gaelic language, use

of,

396

Gage, Mrs. Frances D., visit of, to Iowa, 297-299 Galena (Illinois), experiences of Jefferson's company at, 19, 20; buying of grain at, 54; lead mines at, 350, 351 Gallaher, Ruth A., The Iowa, 101-

Cuthbert,

Garfield, James A., Kirkwood in cabinet of, 404, 406, 422, 423 Garfield, Mrs. James A., reception by,

orders

signed

by,

386; attack made by, 386, 387 Grant, U. S., comment by, on Confederate conscription, 8 measure ;

for

relief

New

112

84-86; visit of, in 177; third term for,

of,

York,

424 Grasses,

introduction of, Times, by

Grasshopper

76

Josephine

Barry Donovan, 193-202

415 Garland, Hamlin, bitterness in tales of, 263 General Assembly, election of James Wilson to, 66, 71 purchase of silver service by, 103 resolution in, for removal of national capital, 152, 164-167; report to, on National Capital Convention, 161, 162 aid furnished to grasshopper victims by, 196 General Bern (steamer), material for bridge brought on, 308, 309 Georgia, newspapers of, 407 Georgian Bay, reference to, 206, 207; Joliet's voyage on, 245 Germany, emigrants from, 294 ;

;

;

Germon, Mr., membership of, in theatrical company, 18; song by, 22 Germon, Mrs., membership of, in theatrical company, 18 Giard, Basil, land grant

to, 122; acquaintance of, with Tesson, 123, 125 Gifford, mention of, 272; road to, 276

Gillett,

Grant,

F.

H., position

of,

428

"Glory of Columbia Her Yeomanry", performance of, 16, 17, 18 Gloucester (battleship), service

of,

in

Grasshoppers, destruction by, 193202, 388, 389; growth of, 197, 198; poem about, 199; jokes concerning, 200, 201 Great Lakes, Joliet's knowledge of, 243 Saint-Lusson expedition on, 243, 244; reference to, 247; wa;

terway tOj, 349 Green Bay (Wisconsin), mention of, 208, 221; expedition in, 212; visit of Joliet to, 243 Greene County (Pennsylvania), R. J. Burdette's birthplace in, 174 "Gretna Green", performance of, 18 Grimes, James W., vote of, 86 prom;

inence

of,

429

Grinnell, first State field meet at, 139, 144-150 Grinnell College, lack of proper training in, 69; professor of languages at, representation of, in ath93 association, letic 139; participation of, in State field meet, 146, 147, 148 Grosseilliers, explorations of, 210 Gue, Benjamin F., appointment of, as delegate to National Capital Convention, 169 ;

INDEX Gunboats, attack upon, 36 Guttenberg, voyageurs at, 217, 226

439 work

Historians,

judgment

Half-breed Tract, survey

of,

148 Hannibal (Missouri), mention of, 335 Hardin County, outlaws in, 267, 269; description of, 267, 280; vigilance society in, 274; Rainsbarger case in, 274, 278, 279, 280; historic stable in, 280 Harlan, James, capital removal advocated by, 168 Scribe,

boat

commanded

by,

301 Hastings, F. A., records meet,

Hawkey e

in

of,

track

144 (lighter-boat),

building

of,

253;

in-

376, 377

Hawkeye, The, message

in,

cidents in, 260, 261; quotations from, 260, 261, 284; characters in, 261; characteristics of, 262, 263; tribute to frontier mothers in, 263,

264; style of, 264, 283; background of, 265, 284 Hawley, Theodore, appointment of, as delegate to National Capital Convention, 156 Hayden, John, attitude of, on railroads, 93 departure from, Hebrides Islands, 382, 383 Henderson, D. B., position of, 429 Hennepin, Louis, voyage of, on Mississippi, 204 Hennessy, John, nephews of, 138

Henry Burden (steamer), 50 Hepburn, W.

P.,

"Herd law",

90,

position

Beall of,

30,

discussion

31,

63;

of,

281,

282

367

Half-breeds, work of, 369 Half mile run, records in, 146, 148 Halleck, Henry W., attack of, upon Corinth, 2 Hamilton, A. H., appointment of, as delegate to National Capital Convention, 156 Hammer throw, records in, 143, 144,

Harris,

of,

281

of,

Historical fiction,

on,

429

94-97

May, membership of, in Pleasant Hill Dramatic Club, 26 High jump, training for, 139

Hiatt,

Highlanders, characterization of, 379, 397; hardships of, in Scotland, 379, 380, 381, 382; coming of, to America, 386 Hill, B. H., report of stranger to, 39, 40; plan of, 40, 41 Hine, Adam, service of, as lighterman, 375, 378 Hine, Daniel, work of, 375, 378

Historical memoirs, discussion of, 132, 133 History, character of, 30, 31; materials of, 63, 64 Hitch and kick, records in, 148 Hobson, Richmond P., plan of, to block harbor, 104, 105 Hogs, shipment of, 55 Holland, emigrants from, 296 Holmes, O. W., position of, 428 Homer Township (Benton County), election returns from, 83 "Honeymoon", performance of, 22 Hop, step, and jump, winner of, 143 Hopkinton, settlement of, 394; college at, 397 Horses, importation of, 389 Horseshoe Island, description of, 215 Hospers, mention of, 117; trip to, 193, 194 House of Representatives (Iowa), Speaker of, 66, 97, 98; railroad bill in, 92 House of Representatives (United contest States), Frederick-Wilson

78-89; filibustering

in,

85

action

;

of,

in,

on Grant

84, 84,

83, bill,

85, 89; confusion in, 86, 87, 88; debate in, on removal of the na-

tional capital, 167, 168, 169 to Rule a Wife", performance

"How of,

22

Howell, James B., opposition of, to appropriations for capitol grounds, 168,

169

Hoxie, Vinjiie Ream, account of, 417 Hubbard, Asahel W., vote of, for removal of national capital, 154; appointment of, as delegate to National Capital Convention, 156 Hubbard, N. M., railroad protection sought by, 328, 329; declaration of, 331, 332

Hudson's

Bay Company,

control

of

382; factory of, 383; with North-West Com388; name given to, 388;

interests by,

union pany,

of,

dissatisfaction

of

Scots

with,

388,

389; purchase of supplies by, 389 Huff, H. L., Pin Rainsbarger defended bv, 269; prosecution led by, 276, 277 Hummer, Michael, office of, 396 "Hummer's Bell", reference to, 396

Hundred Associates, commerce trolled by, 207, 240 Hungary, emigrants from, 296

con-

THE PALIMPSEST

440

Hunt, William D., report about, 424 Hurdle race, records in, 143, 146, 148 Huron Indians, location of, 207; killing of, by Iroquois, 210; visit of Marquette to, 232; flight of, to Mackinac Island, 232 Ice cream, serving of, at field meet, 145, 149 Illinois, wheat from, 58; growth of population in, 153 Burdette family in, 174, 175; plans of Joliet to live in, 247; attempt to exclude Kelly's army from, 333 story of, ;

;

346; Black Hawk in, 352; campaign in, 353 Abraham Lincoln in, 353, 419; newspapers of, 407 ;

Illinois

209;

Indians, visit visit

of Joliet

by Nicollet, and Marquette

to,

220-226, 233, 234, 236 Illinois River, Marquette's trip to,

Normal

State

School,

presi-

dent of, 155 Indiana, mention of, 261; newspapers of, 407; reference to Kirkwood's speech in, 410, 411 Indiana (battleship), station of, 105; orders to, 107, 108 Indiana (steamer), rapids crossed by,

366 Indians, mention of, 121; instruction of, by Tesson, 124; village of, on Tesson land, 128, 129; agents of, 134; land ceded by, 136; fur trade with, 206; work of Jesuits among,

230; Frenchman in village of, 243; friendship of, with Joliet, 243 reference to, 283, 361; removal of, from Iowa, 292 refusal of whisky to, 295; hostility of, 347, 348, 350, 390; presence of, in northern Wisconsin, 349, 350; regard of, for Jefferson Davis, 350; dispute of treaties miners with, 350-352 ;

;

;

with, 352, 387 "Industrial armies", organization 327; description of, 327

Infanta

Maria

destruction

of,

Teresa

(battleship),

105, 106, 107; Cer-

109 Mrs., membership of, in Ingersoll, theatrical company, 18 Inkpaduta, reference to, 282, 283 Inslee, William, purchase of wheat from, 56 Insurance, advance of, 54 service", maintenance "Intelligence of, by Kelly's army, 336, 337 Athletic

of,

139;

138,

of,

first

145

404 Iowa, need problems

of in,

study

scientific

71;

69,

of

James Wil-

son's trips to, 72; visitors from, to Philadelphia, 101; delegation from, 109; description of, 113-120, 256260, 297-299, 322, 323, 346; land grants in, 121, 122, 123, 128; march of dragoons across, 129; first field meet in, 137-150; proposal to move national capital to, 152, 154, 155, 161; growth of population in, 153 vote of Congressmen from, on capital removal, 168 grasshopper ravages in, 193202; organization of, 203; geological history of, 203; age of, 203, 204; first white men in, 204, 220226; emigration to, 214, 292, 293, ;

400; rediscovery of, 249-251; spirit of, 251, 252; skill of Herbert Quick in presenting history of, 253, 254, 255; contributions of pioneers of, to literature and art, 253, 265, 266; session laws of, 262; counties in, 266; townships in, 266; character of early settlers in, 285-300, 322, 323; living conditions in, 290-300; removal of Indians from, 292 census of, in ;

296; first Norwegian settle297; Kelly's army in, 327, 360; miners in, 351, 352; opening of, for settlement, 352 immigration issue in, 359; new parties in, 360; steamboat traffic in, 361,365, 366, 367; Scotch settlement in, 379-397; visit to, 389; dialect of, 398-400; clippings from newspapers in, 402, 403, 404, 416, 417; 1850,

ment

in,

;

enlistment from, in Civil War, 410, of,

vera rescued from,

Inter-CoUegiate

day

field

;

on,

236 Illinois

organization

Interesting Historical Paper, reference to, 406 Interior, Secretary of, office of, 37, 38; clippings about Kirkwood as,

Association,

411; admiration in, for Kirkwood, 412, 413, 414; return of Kirkearly politics in, wood to, 425 425, 426; history of, 425-427; pioneer literature in, 427; statesmen of, 428, 429 ;

Iowa (Territory), establishment of, 203, 285; guide book on, 295 loiva (battleship), history of, 101112; poem in honor

of,

captain of, 104; part of Santiago, 105-109;

102; in

first

Battle

church seron board of, 109; expenses 109; part time service of, 110;

vices of,

of,

I

i

;

;;

INDEX use of, in World War, 110; use of, as target, 110-112 Iowa, The, by Ruth A. Gallaher, 101-112 Iowa, The Discovery of, by Beuce E. Mahan, 215-228 Iowa Biographical Series, Kirkwood's biography in, 401, 402 Iowa Central Air Line (Chicago and Northwestern Railroad), construction of, in Tama County, 91 Iowa City, first field meet at, 140144; removal of State capital from, Kirkwood's home in, 409 152 ;

exhibition

Kirkwood route

to,

portrait

of

School

in,

410

in,

417;

stage

418

Iowa College (see Grinnell College) Iowa Collegiate Athletic Association, annual track meets held by, 137 Iowa Democratic Enquirer, notices in, concerning suspension bridge, 309311, 314-319 Iowa District, book on, 293 Iowa Doone Band, An, by Jocelyn

Wallace, 267-280, 284 Iowa Falls, railroad to, 91 Iowa News, advertisement in, 15 port of plays

in,

16,

;

re-

17

Iowa River, reference to, 267, 275, 308 Iowa State College, record of, in State field meet,

147

Iowa State Labor Commissioner, port

of,

concerning

Kelly's

re-

army,

337 Register, comment by, on capital removal, 154, 155; dispatch from, 329; stories in, 341

Iowa State

Iowa Thespian Association, organizaof, 14; plays by, 16; success 23; disbanding of, 23 Thespians, The, by Bruce E. Iowa Mahan, 14-24 Iowa Wesleyan College, representation of, in athletic association, 139; participation of, in field meet, 147,

tion of,

18,

148

The Early, by Geo. F. Robe285-300 Ireland, emigrants from, 294, 296 Irish, John P., opposition of, to removal of national capital, 164, 165, 166, 167 Irish, work of, as ratters, 376 loivans.

son,

Iroquois

Indians,

210; friendship 243 Island

Queen

of,

of,

of,

206,

with Ottawas,

(passenger

of capture Beall, 44-49, 51

story

hostility

steamer),

by John Y.

/.

/. of,

/.

441 Houseman

to,

Jack

(schooner), capture

36

W. Van Sard

(steamer), accident

on rapids, 371 River (Canada),

386 Jacker, Edward,

trading

post

on,

discovery

239 Andrew, democracy

of

Mar-

quette's grave by,

Jackson, of,

in

era

322

Jackson, Frank D., interview with, 328, 329; efforts of, to remove Kelly's army, 332, 333 suggestion ;

of,

337

Jackson, Thomas J., Bible given by, 35 James Bay, region surveyed near, by Joliet, 248 Jamestown (Virginia), exposition 109, 110; founding of, 206 Java (steamer), voyage of, 366 Jefferson, Joseph, membership of,

at,

in

theatrical company, extract 18; from autobiography of, 19-22 Jefferson, Mrs. Joseph, membership of, in theatrical company, 18 Jefferson, Joseph, Jr., membership of, in theatrical company, 18 Jefferson Barracks (St. Louis), Jefferson Davis at, 347; Black Hawk sent to, 353, 354 Jefferson House (Dubuque), mention of, 24 Jesuits, service of, in Indian country, 207, 230; recall of, 210 Jobs, scarcity of, 325 Johns, Ed, arrest of, 275; dismissal of case of, 275, 276; indictment of, 278 Johns, Henry, association of, with Rainsbarge'rs, 269, 271, 273; efforts of, to expose counterfeiters, 271, 272; opinion of, concerning cause of Johnson's murder, 273; shooting of, 274; statement of, concerning assailants, 274 Johnson, Andrew, mention of, 86, 87 Johnson, Enoch, association of, with Rainsbargers, 270; arrest of, 270; part of. in counterfeiting scheme, 270, 271, 272; release of, 271; death of, 272, 273; mention of,

276

John W., letter from, town sites, 367 Johnson, Mag, quarrel with, 271;

Johnson,

re-

lating to

in-

surance in favor of, 271; relation 273; 272, Rainsbargers, to of, affidavits made by, 273 Johnson County, petition from, 152 Kirkwood's home in, 414

;;

THE PALIMPSEST

442 Johnson's

Island

(Lake Erie), plan

to release prisoners at, 39, 49, 50; officer of, 48 Joliet, Louis, journey of, on Missis-

River, 121, 122, 204, 211, 212, 213, 217, 218, 233-239, 242248, 363 impersonation of, in replica voyage, 215-228, 249, 250; sippi

;

Indian village, 220-226; meeting of, v^ith Marquette, 230, 233, 242; characterization of, 240248; life of, 241, 242; travels of, 242, 245, 246, 247, 248; accident to, 246; report of, 246, 247; plans of, 247; granting of seigneuriage to, 248 British capture home of, 248 Labrador explored by, 248 position held by, 248; death of, visit of, to

;

;

248 Marie, character of, 240 A. K., service of, as referee,

Joliet,

Jones,

146 Christopher

Jones, of,

Jones,

326 George

Columbus,

"W.,

arrest

acquaintance

of,

with

Jefferson Davis, 348, 349 influence of, at Galena, 351 Jones, Hillary, remarks by, 112 Jones County, Scotch in, 379, 392, 394, 396 Josephine (steamer), rapids crossed by,

366

Journey,

A

Pioneer,

by

J.

M.

D.

Burrows, 301-306 Jury, coroner's, decision of, concerning Johnson's death, 273

Kaskaskia (Illinois), Tesson family at, 135 service of Marquette at, 237, 238 Kasson, John A., service of, as committee chairman, 164 ;

Kaufman, B.

F., B. T. Frederick rep79 Stephen W., dragoons commanded by, 129 Keel boats, use of, 364

resented by,

Kearny,

Kelley's Island (Lake Erie), trips to, 41, 42; vessel at, 43, 44; Confederates at, 51 Kelly, Charles T., industrial army led by, 327-345; speech of, 332; assertions of, concerning Coxey, 341,

342; return of, 345 Kelly's armv, number

of, 327, 328, 330, 334, 335, 339, 340, 341, 342, 343, 344, 345; militia called out on account of, 330, 331; suffering of, 330, 331; character of men in, 330, 340, 341; enlisting of men in, 330, 335, 336; treatment of, at

Chautauqua grounds, 330, 331; conference of leaders of, 333 aid 334, 335, 338, 343; intelligence service of, 386, 337; reports about, 337, 338; demands of, 338; stay of, at Des Moines, 338-343; investigation of, 340, 341; criticism of, 341; decline of, 343, 344, 345; condition of, 344, 345; popularity ;

to,

of,

in

lovra,

360

Army, by Donald MuRRY, 325-345

Kelly's

L.

Mc-

Kentucky, Representative from, 88; Senator from, 287, 288, 289, 290; Kelly's men in, 344; Jefferson Davis and Sarah Taylor in, 356, 357; emigrants from, 400 Keokuk, dam at, 131; convention at, 155, 156; suggestion for removal of national capital to, 163, 164; lecture by R. J. Burdette at, 190; character of people at, 290; reference to, 297; rapids near, 362; importance of location of, 367; maple forests near, 369; steamers at, 373; lightering at, 374, 376; railroad

at,

378

Kepner, G. W., grain handled by, 59 Kilbourne, D. W., Montrose laid out by, 130; trial of, for title to land, 130 Kildonan (Scotland), enclosures in, 381; emigrants from, 381, 382, 385, 387, 391

Kirkwood,

Samuel

J.,

appointment

as delegate to National Capital Convention, 156, 169; biography of, handwriting of, 401, 402; 403; clippings about, 404; urging of, to write autobiography, 405; death of, 405, 406, 417; speeches of, 406, 410, 411, 412, 421, 422; character of, 407, 408; anecdotes about, 407, 408, 421; birthday anniversaries of, 408 tribute to, 408, remarks by, in regard to 409 Yewell portrait, 410 service of, as Governor, 410, 411, 420, 421; attitude of, toward Union, 411, 412; influence of, in Iowa, 412, 413; admiration of, for Iowa, 414, 415; of,

;

;

;

statue of, in Capitol, 417; pictures of, 419, 420; service of, as Secretary of Interior, 422, 423, 424, 425; telegrams sent by, 423, 424; unique record of, 427; prominence of, 429 Kirkwood, Samuel J., The Life and Times of, reference to, 401, 405 Mrs. (see Kirkwood, Jane Clark, Samuel J. Kirkwood)

;

;

INDEX Kirkwood, Mrs. Samuel J., photographs of, 401, 415; scrap-books of, 401-427; appreciation of, 401, 402, 415, 416, 417; age of, 402; clippings tion of,

about

403

;

birthday

celebra-

comment about, 415, work of, 417;

416, 417; Red Cross contributions of, to 426, 427

425,

history,

Kirkwood School, programs Kiskakon Indians, burial

417 Mar-

of,

of

quette by, 238, 239 Knights of Labor, Kelly's army aided by, 334, 335 Knights of Labor, General Master

Workman

of

the,

appearance

of,

342, 343; declaration of, 342, 343 Kotzebue, August F. F. von, play by,

16

443

Lea, Albert M., dragoons commanded by, 129; report of, 293, 294 Lee, Robert E., study of, 34; visit of, to Des Moines Rapids, 129,

130; survey by, 362 Lee County, naming of, 130; suggestion for removal of national capital to, 163 Leffingwell, W. E., appointment of, as

delegate to National Capital Convention, 156 Episodes, by John Ely Briggs, 90-98

Legislative

Leicester, Mr., membership of, in theatrical company, 18 Lenox College, Scotch in, 397 Lesslie, Charles, purchase of wheat

from, 56 Lewis, E. R., boxing match

won

by,

144, 149

La Chine Rapids, at,

accident

to

Joliet

246

Lafayette Circus Company, performances of, 14 Lake Cooper, Tesson orchard covered by,

131

Lake

Erie, information about steamer 38; Beall's activities on, 51; route on, 243 Lake Michigan, Joliet's voyage on, on,

212 Lake Nipissing, reference to, 206, 207; Joliet on, 245 Lake Ontario, Indian village on, 243 Lake Superior, Indians near, 208 mention of, 221; Joliet on, 243; capture of fort on, 387 Lake "Winnebago, expedition on, 213 Lake Winnipeg, purchase of territory near, 382; voyage across, 386 Langley, C. C, record of, in field meet, 147, 148

Laon

(France),

place

at,

Marquette's

birth-

229

La

Marquette's Pointe (Canada), mission at, 231, 232 to William, proposal of, Larrabee, cede land for national capital, 163 ;

reward offered by, 274 Salle, Rose de, character

La La

229 243

Sieur de, expedition of, Gowrie", performance of, 22 H. W., remarks by, 401; assistance handwriting of, 403 o'

Lathrop,

;

given

to,

405

68 terms from, 398 Lauder, Harry, songs of, 379 Latin, study

of,

;

Lawrence (steamer), ascent of rapids 366 Lawyer, frontier, description 262

of,

378; dialect

of,

261,

399

;

part of, in Black Hawk W^r, 353 debates of, 419; comparison of, with Kirkwood, 419, 420 Linn County, purchase of wheat in,

60 Lischer, Julius, fencing by, 149 Literature, materials for, furnished by Iowa pioneers, 253 Little Theatre movement, characteristic

of,

14

Littleton, M.,

steamer commanded by,

367 Livingston, Grandmother, accident ;

journey

of,

to,

393

Livingston, Donald, journey of, to Scotch Grove, 392, 393 Livingston, James, settlement by, 394 to journey of, John, Livingston, Scotch Grove, 391, 392 freezing, of, by Livingstons, death

395 Locke, C. E., record

of,

in field meet,

147 Locusts,

by,

of,

Lighters, loading of, 369, 370; crew on, 370; return of, to Montrose, 374, 375 Lincoln, Abraham, assistance of, to Joseph Jefferson, 19 assassination of, 50; reference to, 175, 407;

393 of,

Salle,

"Lass

Lewis, Sinclair, cynicism of, 263 Lighter-barges, use of, on rapids, 368; building of, 376, 377 Lighter-boats, introduction of, 375; repair of, 377 Lightermen, service of, on rapids, 363, 364, 367, 368, 369, 373,375; cost of, 373, 374; disappearance

Rocky Mountain, ravages

193-202 Lodge, H. C, position

of,

428

by,

THE PALIMPSEST

444

Logan, John A., removal of national capital supported by, 154, 155, 167, 168; political influence of,

424 Logansport (Illinois), Burdette at, 176 London, Jack, characterization of, 335; Kelly's army joined by, 335; quotation from diary of, 335; boats

manned by, 343, 344 London (England), butter exported to,

74;

deputation

of

tenants

to,

381

Long Grove, wheat

raised near, 55

Longfellow, H. W., poem of, 250 Lorna Doone, reference to, 267

Los

Angeles (California), pastorate of Burdette in, 192 Loughridge, William, vote of, for re-

moval of national Louis XIV,

capital,

reference

to,

McMuEEY, Donald

L., Kelly's

Army,

325-345

154

204,

Mclntyres, settlement made by, 394 McKenzie, Alexander, membership of, in theatrical company, 18 McKenzie, Mrs. Alexander, membership of, in theatrical company, 18 McKenzie-Jefferson Company, visit of, to Iowa, 18-24; plays of, 22, 23 Mackinac, Straits of, mention of, 208, 211 Mackinac Island, Marquette at, 232, 233; Joliet at, 246 McKinley, William, appointment of James Wilson by, 67, 71, 72, 77; anecdote of, 68, 69 McLain, Alexander, coming of, to Iowa, 389, 390 McMillan, Mrs. Bert, party given by, 119

211,

243, 244 Louisburg (Canada), capture of, 204 Louisiana, rule of, by Spain, 122; lieutenant governor of, 124, 126; emigrants from, 214 Louisville (Kentucky), Kelly's army at, 344 Lowe, Ralph P., service of, as delegate to National Capital Convention, 156, 157, 161, 162, 169 Lyon, Lucius, new Territory supported by, 289

Macaulay, Thomas B., history by, 68 Dorothy, Lieutenant Jefferson Davis, 346-357 McCarthy, C. G., speech by, 103 McConkev, Fremont, description of, 265, 266 McConkey, Kate, mention of, 262 McCosh, Jean, character of, 67 McCov, David, coming of, to Iowa,

MacBeide,

389, 390 McCrary, George W., service of, as chairman of Committee of the Whole, 168 MacDonnell, Miles, speech by, 384, 385; capture of, 386 McElderv, C. W., record of, in field meet, "l47, 148 "McGregor", performance of, 22 McGregor, Spanish land grant in, 122; Joliet near, 213; vovageurs at, 215, 226; legend of, 356 McGuffey's Sixth Reader, readings from, 26 McHenry, William H., writ of injunction by, 80 McHrath, J., record of, in field meet, 146, 148

McNally, Sheeman



J.,

"Bob" Bur-

dette Humorist, 173-192 McPherson, M. L., appointment

of,

as delegate to National Capital Convention, 169

Madison, James, quotation from, 159 F., appointment of, as delegate to National Capital Convention, 156, 169 Mahan, Bruce E., Bridging the Cedar, 307-320 Mahan, Beuce E., A Confederate Spy, 33-52 Mahan, Beuce E., The Discovery of Iowa, 215-228

Magoun, George

Mahan, Bruce

The First Iowa

E.,

Field Day, 137-150

Mahan, Beuce pians,

Mahan,

The Iowa Thes-

E.,

14-24

Beuce

Pleasant

E.,

HUl

Dramatics, 25-29

Mahan, Bruce Trail,

Main

E.,

The Scotch Grove

379-397 (Davenport), mention

Street

of,

56

Maine (battleship), sinking of, 104 Maiden (Canada), Confederate agents at,

Man

42; steamer of Vision, A,

42, 48 by Bertha

at,

Ann

Reutee, 65-77

Mandan

(steamer), voyage of, on Mississippi, 366 Manitoba (Canada), territory in, 382 Manitoulins (Lake Huron), mention of, 208 Mansfield (Ohio), law office in, 418 Maquoketa River, limestone from quarries along, 33 Scotch settlements on, 379, 391; bee trees along, 394, 395 Mara, James, boxing of, 144, 149 ;

;

;

INDEX Markets, reports of, 57, 61, 62; surplus of butter on, 74 Marquette, Jacques, exploration of Mississippi River by, 121, 122, 204, 211, 212, 213, 232, 233, 234, 235, 245, 363; impersonation of, in replica voyage, 215, 249, 250; remarks of, 216, 233-235; characterization of, 229-239; career of, 229, 230; death of, 238, 239; meeting of, with Joliet, 242 Marquette, Father, by Kuth B. Mid-

DAUGH, 229-239 remains

of

as

of,

timer,

Marshal, acting assistant provost, port to, 40

278 MarshaUtown, counsel from, 79

re-

Metropolitan of,

dis-

;

in, 82, 83; taking Bainsbargers to, 279; work of Nate Rainsbarger at, 280 Maryland, Bemis family from, 34 Kelly's men in, 345 newspapers

of

;

of, 407 Maryland

chief

Police,

battlefields

war

against, 54

352

of.

(steamer), voyage accident to, 371 Michigan, acting assistant

marshal

40

of,

;

366;

of,

provost 49 Sen-

officer in,

;

Michigan

(gunboat), information about, 38; plans of capture of, 39, 40, 48, 49; officer of, 40 MiDDAUGH, Ruth B., Father Mar-

quette, 229-239 Middle Bass Island (Lake Erie), vessel at, 43, 46; Confederates at, 51 Middle West, gi'owth of population in, 153

Middlerib,

Mr.,

story

179,

of,

180,

183-188

(battleship), part of, at sinking of the Iowa, 112 Maskoutens, Joliet to explore country

of, 244 Mass meeting, holding

Mifford Haven (Virginia), burning of schooner at, 36 Milburn, N. L., suspension bridge

308-320

built by, of,

332; Kelly

332

Massachusetts, mention of, 119, 428, 429; frontier of, 260

198,

Mattawan River, Joliet on, 245 Matthew's Point (Virginia), capture of schooner at, 36 Matthieson, Angus, settlement by, 394 May, James, steamer commanded by, 367

Military burial, description Military commission, trial

Council

Bluffs,

efforts

of,

remove Kelly's army, 332, 333

Mayor of Omaha, efforts of, to move Kelly's army, 332, 333 Mechanic (steamer), voyage accident to, 371

of,

re-

366;

Mechanic's Rock (Mississippi River), accident at, 371 Medals, provision for, 141 Medicine, College of, athletes in, 138 Medill, Joseph, removal of national capital supported by, 155 Menagerie, exhibition of, in early Iowa, 14 Menominee Indians, Joliet's visit to,

212

Menominee River, explorers

of,

Miller,

212

10

429 Samuel H., report

proposal

by, 81, 88; for removal of nation156 155,

of,

"Miller Boy", playing

of,

25

"William, comment by, on location of national capital, 165, 166 Milwaukee Railroad, tearing up of Mills,

tracks of, 334 Miners, removal

350-352 in, 248 Minnesota, march of dragoons across, 129; Selkirk's territory in, 382; journey of Scots across, 391, 392, 393; newspapers of, 407 Mississippi, visit of Jefferson Davis in, 346, 347 Mississippi (battleship), firing of, on Iowa, 111, 112

Mingan

ing

of,

Islands, Joliet

Mississippi on,

of,

of Beall by, 50, 51, 52 Militia, calling out of, to restrain Kelly's army, 329, 330, 331 Miller, Samuel Freeman, prominence

al capital,

of

Detective

50

ator from, 289

posal of ballots

to

urged by, 156, 157, 161, 162 Indians, Joseph Tesson with, 136 ital

Meskwaki

Mexico

Marshall County, election returns from, 78, 79, 80; trial in, 274, 278; prisoners confined in jail in,

Mayor

Mercantile Library Hall (St. Louis), meeting of National Capital Convention at, 157 Merchants, bankruptcy of, 62 Merrill, Samuel, delegates to National Capital Convention appointed by, 156, 169; removal of national cap-

Mexico, declaring of

Marquette University, Marquette at, 239 Marsh, E. A., service 146

at,

445

of,

River,

21;

accident

produce

in

cross-

shipped

by

THE PALIMPSEST

446 way

54;

of,

rapids

in,

forests

121,

along,

361-378;

121;

Mar-

quette's journey on, 121, 122; Dubuque's grant on, 122; exploration of, by Z. M. Pike, 127; Joliet's expedition on, 213, 244, 245; fur traders on, 214; replica voyage on, 215-228; man's control of, 218, 219; celebration on, 249; travel on,

261; 333,

mention

of,

285,

287,

308,

343,

356, 357; Kelly's army 344; Jefferson Davis on, 347; guiding of timber on, 347, 348; waterway to, 349; crossing of, 352; steamers on, 365, 366, 367; lighter-barges on, 376, 377; journey of Scots along, 391 on,

Mississippi Valley, proposals to move national capital to, 151-169; emigration to, 205, 206; democracy in, 321, 322; new parties in, 359,

360;

fertility

of,

389

Missouri,

growth of population in, 153 Missouri River, fur traders on, 214; Marquette at mouth of, 234; crossing of, 328; exploration of, by steamer, 365 Mitchigamea Indians, Marquette and Joliet's encounter with, 234, 235 Moine (see Des Moines Rapids) Moingona River, mouth of, 362, 363 Money, circulation of, 201; use of Spanish dollars as, 301; issue of paper currency as, 302; carrying of, by Burrows, 302 Monterey County, history of, 266.

284

Montrose, laying out of, 130; Tesson orchard at, 130; voyageurs at, 226; pageant at, 249; rapids near, 362; importance of location of, 367; forests near, 369; steamers at, 373; lightering business at, 374, 376; shipyard at, 377; railroad at, 378 Moore's opera house, convention in, 420, 421 Morals, relation of sport to, 171, 172 Morse, N. C, testimony of, 276 Mortgages, frequency of, 325 Mothers, tribute to, 263, 264 Mott, by,

Mt.

Frank

L., dialect words studied 400; quotation from, 427 Pleasant, athletic meeting at,

138; mention of, 250 Murray, Charles Augustus, report 290, 294

318, 319; attitude of, toward Milburn, 318, 319, 320 Muscatine (steamer), use of, 372 Muscatine, Washington, and Oskaloosa Road and Bridge Company, organization of, 308; funds raise"d by, 308, 310, 311 "Mustache, The Rise and Fall of the", 190 Nashville,

Muscatine, grain trade at, 60; voyageurs at, 226; growth of, 307; bridge at, 308, 309, 315, 316, 317

of steamer at,

371

Capital Convention, delegates to, 156, 169; meeting of, 156, 157; resolutions passed by, 157-160; calling of, 168, 169

National Guard (see Militia)

Navy, United States, harbor guarded by, 104 Nebraska, Representative from, 81 Negroes, work of, as ratters, 376; dialect of, 398, 399 Neiville (steamer), rapids crossed by 366 Neola, destruction of railroad at, 334 New Albany, buying of grain at, 54 New England, farmers of, 260; emigrants from, 298, 400 New Prance, Intendant of, 210; Marquette's start for, 230; governor of 243 New Melleray, Abbey of, voyageurs

227

at,

New

Orleans (Louisiana), business house at, 53; wheat market at, 54; departure of steamer from, 366

New New

52

parties,

;

400

cradle

359, 360

of,

York, Beall's activities in, 51, emigrants from, in Iowa, 298,

New York

(battleship),

Battle of Santiago,

New York

City,

part

of,

in

104, 105

police

headquarters in, 50; business house at, 53; produce shipped to, 54, 55, 58, 60, 61; visit of Burrows to, 57; wheat insured in, 61; freight to, 61; Viscaya at, 106; R. J. Burdette at, 176-178; mention of, 282, 404;

newspapers

New York

of,

407

Tribune, accounts of Iowa 297-299; clipping from, 416 New York Weekly, writers of, 265 Newell, H. E., appointment of, as delegate to National Capital Convention, 156 in,

Newport of,

wreck

National

(Rhode Island),

silver

ser-

vice presented at, 103 Letter (Grinnell), field meet supported by, 145, 147 Newspapers, clippings from, in scrap-

News

books,

402, 403, 404

INDEX

447

Niagara River, arrest made on bridge over, 50 Nichols, De Witt C, boat piloted by, 43 accosting of, 44 surrender of, 45 warning given by, 48 orders to, 48

Olmstead, S. B., resolution on capital removal introduced by, 152 Olympic games, climax of, 170 Omaha (Nebraska), Kelly's army at, 328, 333; trade unionists of, 334 One hundred yard dash, records in,

Jean, explorations of, 207, 208, 209, 212 Nightingale, George L., play directed

Oregon

;

;

;

;

Nicollet,

by, 16 Niles' Weekly Register, description of

steamer in, 364, 365 Non-Partisan League,

mention of, 358 North America, work of Jesuits in, 230; wheat land in, 382 (Lake Erie), North Bass Island steamer at, 43 North Carolina, Representative from, 81, 285 North Dakota, Selkirk's territory in, 382 Northwest (steamer), accident to, 371 North-West Company, attitude of, to-

ward

Scotch

settlers,

383,

385,

386; entertainment by, 385; appointment by, 386; capture of headquarters of, 387; trial of Selkirk by, 387; union of, with Hudson's Bay Company, 388 Norway, emigrants from, 297 Notes on Wisconsin Territory, quotation from, 293, 294 Novel, treatment of, 281, 282; object of, 282 influence of historical setting of, 282 ;

Novelist, portrayal of historical background by, 281; basis for judgment of, 281; responsibility of, 282,

283

Oakland (California), Kelly's at, 328 Oarsmen, duties of, 373, 374

army

O'Brien County, pioneer from, 113; mention of, 117; devastation in, by locusts, 193-202 visit of committee to, 196 Ode to the Planet Mars, 6 Ogden (Utah), Kelly's army at, 328 Kelly's Ohio, emigrants from, 298 men in, 344; newspapers of, 407; early life in, 417, 418 Ohio River, Marquette at mouth of, 234; travel on, 261; mention of, 343; Kelly's army on, 344; lighters built on, 376, 377 Old Ridge Road, crossing of, by pioneers, 253, 255 Olive Branch (steamer), voyage of, 366 ;

;

143,

146, 147 (battleship), station

144,

in

of,

harbor, 105 Osceola County, visit of committee to, 196, 197 Osgood, B. L., election of, as president of athletic association, 139 Oskaloosa, Mrs. Gage at, 299 "Othello", performance of, 22 Ottawa Indians, flight of, 210; Marquette's work with, 231; friendship of, with Iroquois, 243 Ottawa River, voyages on, 206, 245

Ottumwa, Ould,

Kelly's

army

at,

344

Robert,

protest from, 37; let52 Outlaws, presence of, in Hardin County, 267; headquarters of, 267, ter to,

268 Over the Rapids, by Ben Hue Wilson, 361-378 Owens, "Sip", service of, as pilot, 372 Pacific Ocean, American fleet in. 111 "Pack rats", use of term of, 399

Paducah

(Kentucky), contractor from, 308 Paine, H. E., resolution for capital removal introduced by, 154 Palimpsest, The, reference to, 415 Palimpsests, Restorer of Iowa, by Bertha M. H. Shambaugh, 253-

266 Panama, Bay of, Iowa in, 110, 111 Park Theatre (New York), play given at, 16 Parker, L. roads, 93

P.,

Parkhurst,

attitude

of,

on

rail-

Henry Clinton, The

Siege of Corinth, 1-13 Parliamentary law, James Wilson's knowledge of, 71 Parsons' Ferry, Burrows at, 304 Parties, new, 359, 360

Pasadena Burdette

(California), in,

ministry

of

192

Patterson, John G., appointment of, National Capital to delegate as Convention, 156; speech by, 162,

163 Paxson, Frederic L., comment by, on sport, 171 Pemberton, James, Jefferson Davis accompanied by, 347

THE PALIMPSEST

448

Pembina carts, overland trip in, 389, 390; description of, 390 Penn, William, petition of, for land grant,

204

176 Peoria Review, R. J. Burdette's posi176, 177, 178 Transcript, R. J. Burdette's position with, 176, 177, 178 P6r6, Jean, Joliet accompanied by, tion with,

Peoria

243 Peterson, Magdalena, marriage of, to Tesson, 135 Philadelphia (Pennsylvania), visitors to shipyard at, 101; silver service in navy yard at, 110; construction

Iowa

Philippine first

in,

110

Islands,

return

of

Fifty-

Iowa Infantry from, 109

PhUo Parsons (passenger

jsoat),

ture of, 40-49, 51 Phipps, Sir William, Anticosti tured by, 248 Photography, service of, 64

cap-

cap-

of, as delegate meeting, 138; election o£Scer of association, 139;

Pierce, P. G., selection to

Richard, kept by, 24 105,

from, Pennsylvania, Representative 81; R. J. Burdette's family in, 174; emigrants from, 298 People's Party Political Club, Kelly's army aided by, 339 Peoria (Illinois), home of R. J. Burdette in, 174, 175; mention of,

of

Plumbe,

Pluton

athletic

of, as boxing contest of, 149 Pike, Zebulon M., visit of, to L. H. Tesson, 127; remarks by, 127; ascent of Des Moines Rapids by, 127, 364; voyage of, on Mississippi, 363, 364 Pike (steamer), voyage of, 366 Pike's Hill, view of, 216 Pilots, service of, on rapids, 370, 371, 372, 374; rivalry among, 370,

371 Pioneer Journey, A, by Burrows, 301-306

J.

M. D.

Pioneers, experiences of, 253, 262, 263; health of, 291; religion of, 295, 296; democracy of, 321-323 "Pizarro", performance of, 16 Plants, distribution of, 76 Play, importance of, 170-172

Pleasant Hill district school, entertainments at, 25, 27, 28; teacher of, 26; description of, 27, 28 Pleasant Hill Dramatic Club, organization of, 26; success of, 28, 29; disbandment of, 29 Pleasant Hill Dramatics, by BbuoB E. Mahan, 25-29

Washington Hotel

(destroyer), 106, 107

W.

of,

(New York), H.

Plymouth Church Poe,

destruction

Beecher's lectures

in,

177, 178

Edgar

Pointing

Allen, stories by, 281 the Way, by Laenas

G.

Weld, 205-214 Pole vault, training for, 139; records in, 143, 146, 148 Polk County, writ of injunction asked in, 80

Population, westward movement 153, 158 Populists, plan of, 325; attitude

of, of,

toward Kelly's army, 339; resolutions introduced by, 345 Pottawattamie County, sheriff of, 329, 331 Prairie, description of, 255 Prairie du Chien (Wisconsin), grant of land near, 122 mention of, 209, 346; view of, 215; Burrows at, 301; stage route near, 302; Fort Crawford located at, 347; timber sent to, 347; traditions of, 356; purchase of supplies at, 389 Prairie fire, description of, 256 Preacher, pioneer, description of, 261 Preemption, demand for, 287 Premier, C. D., fencing by, 149 Presbyterian Church (Pasadena), R. J. Burdette pastor of, 192 ;

Presbyterian Church, First (Scotch Grove), organization of, 396 Presbyterians, Scotch, dissatisfaction of,

388

Prettyman, Mr., remarks

to,

55

Hiram, vote of, for removal of national capital, 154; appointment of, as delegate to National Capital

Price,

Convention, 156 Prices, changes in, 55, 61, 62

Primghar, grasshoppers at, 199 Pririce Wales (vessel), Scotch of emigrants on, 383 sickness aboard, 383 Privateers, danger from, 54 Pryor, Roger A., mention of, 50 Purcell, Thomas, orders to, 11 ;

Quebec (Canada), founding of, 206; Indians at, 210; Marquette at, 230, 242; Joliet at, 233, 240, 241, 242, 246, 248 Quern stones, use of, 394 Quick, Herbert, Iowa history told by, 253-266; characterization of, 253, 254-266, quotations from, 254; 283, 284; style of, 255, 283, 284;

INDEX attitude of, toward pioneers, 263, 264; biographical material used by, 265; popularity of, 266

Raccoon

Forks,

capital

to,

proposal

remove

to

152

Race, holding of, 142, 143 Radicalism, kinds of, 860 Radisson, explorations of, 210 Railroads, stimulation of construction of, 90; regulation of, 90-94; protection for, 328, 329; resent-

ment

against,

331;

refusal

to

of,

carry Kelly's army, 333, 334, 343; carrying of lighterage by, 378 Railroads, Committee on, rebills

91 Rainsbarger, Emanuel, 268, 269 ferred

mention

of,

Rainsbarger, Finley, crimes of, 269, 270; sentence of, 269, 270; arrest of, 275; death of, 275; story of, in

The Eawkeye, 284 Rainsbarger, Mrs. Finley, mention

of,

278 Rainsbarger, Frank, mention of, 268, 269; bail furnished by, 271; insurance by, 271, 273; arrest of, 273; aid to, 273; trial of, 273, 274, 276, 277, 278, 279; change of venue secured by, 274; sentence of, 279; release of, 279, 280; description of, 279, 280 Rainsbarger, George, mention of, 269; arrest of, 279; taking of, to Marshalltown, 279; acquittal of, 279 Rainsbarger, Joe, mention of, 269; arrest of, 278, 279; release of, 278, 279; taking of, to Marshalltown,

279 Rainsbarger, John, mention of, 269; arrest of, 279; taking of, to Marshalltown, 279; acquittal of, 279 Rainsbarger, Manse, arrest of, 275; of,

275;

story

of,

in

The

Eawkeye, 284 Nathan, mention of, 271; arrest of, 273; aid for, 273; trial of, 273, 274, 276, 277, 278; description of, 276, 279; appeal of, 278, 279; conviction of, 278,279; release of, 279, 280; employment

Rainsbarger,

of,

280

Rainsbargers, story County, 268-279

Hardin

in

of,

Rapids

(Mississippi River), navigation over, 361-378; location of, in Mississippi River, 361, 362; description of, 362, 364, 368, 369; map of, opposite p. 372; freight on, 372, 373

Rapids, Over the, by son, 361-378

Ben Hue Wil-

"Ratters", work of, at rapids, 368, 374, 375; union of, 375, 376; na-

376

Read,

G. W., service meet, 142, 146

Real estate tion of,

dealer,

at

of,

track

descrip-

frontier,

261

Recreation, need of, 170 Rector, Frederick, railroad legislation favored by, 92 Red Bird (Indian), testimony of, against T. F. Riddick, 130 Red Cedar River, timber from, 347,

348

Red River Red River

carts, description of, 390 of the North, colony established on, 381, 382, 383; location of, 382; attack on, by North- West Company, 386; seed delivered to, 389; hardships of Scotch at, 391;

emigration from, 391, 392, 400; language of people from, 396 Red River Settlement, Scotch at, 384, 385, 386; departure of colonists from, 386, 387, 389, 390; dissatisfaction of Scots at, 388 Red River trail, migration over, to Iowa, 389, 390, 391, 392 Red Rover (steamer), voyage of, 366 Redpath Lyceum Bureau, engagement of R. J. Burdette by, 191 Reed, J. F., record of, in field meet, 146, 148 Reirm Mercedes (battleship), guarding of, by American fleet, 107, 108 Republican State convention, Iowa, removal of national capital asked by, 168; meeting of, 420, 421 election Republicans, defeat of, 78 of, 78, 79; Illegal ballots issued by, 83 Restorer of Iowa Palimpsests, by ;

Rainsbarger, Nettie, mention insurance for, 271, 273

of,

271;

of Mag Johnson to, 273 trip of, to Eldora, 273 ; affidavits made by, 273 evidence contributed by, 277, ;

visits

;

;

278, 279 Rainsbarger, 268; sons

arrest of, 275, 279; dismissal of case of, 275, 276; indictment of, 278; taking of, to Marshalltown, 279; acquittal of, 279

tionality of,

to,

killing

449

William, of,

269;

mention office

of,

of,

270;

Bertha M. H. Shambauqh, 266 Reuter,

Bertha Ann,

A.

253-

Man

of

Vision, 65-77

Revere House,

Mag Johnsop

at,

273

;;

;

THE PALIMPSEST

450

Rice, John, assistance given to, by evangelist, 396 'Richard III", performance of, 22 Riddick, Thomas F., purchase of Tesson land by, 127; law suit of, 130; disposal of orchard by heirs of, 130 Riley, James Whitcomb, remarks by,

"Sailor's Hornpipe",

22 Anthony,

of,

390, 391

Charles

285-300 Robidoux, Joseph, attorney for, 126; purchase of L. H. Tesson's farm by, 126, 127; death of, 127 Rock Island (Illinois), proposal to move national capital to, 155; Arsenal at, 227; rapids near, 361 Rock Island Railroad, agent of, 333 tearing up tracks of, 333 "Rock" Rapids, location of, 361 Roeder, Mike, experiences of, 194, 195 Roman Catholic Church, cathedral

(Missouri),

trees at, 125 Francisville near, 376

steamers

of, at,

purchase of sawmill

(Missouri),

St.

Ignace

(Michigan), mission at, 211, 229, 233; burial of Marquette at, 238, 239; Joliet and

St.

"Rob Roy", performance of, 22 Robertson, Thomas A., request of, 88 Robeson, Geo. F., The Early lowans,

performance of,

366 St.

173 Rivers, fording

Falls

St.

Marquette at, 245, 246 Lawrence, Gulf of, exploration 206; settlements on, 210; map of, 241; island in, 248 St. Louis (Missouri), business house prices at, 54, 55 Tesson at, 53 St.



of,

;

;

122,

in,

123,

124,

125,

126,

135,

(Italy), mention of, 133; organized sport in, 170 Theodore, anecdote of, 69,

Spanish officials in, 124; traders at, 125 meeting of National Capital Convention at, 156160; reference to, 306, 355; passing of, by Kelly's army, 344 Jefferson Davis at, 347; start of voyage from, 363 arrival of steamer at, 364, 365 St. Louis (boat), Sarah Taylor on, 357 Louis and Keokuk Northern St. Packet Company, lightering controlled by, 375

77

Saint-Lusson, expedition

built by, 229 Romance, importance 30, 31

of,

in

history,

Rome

Roosevelt,

Rose, Alexander, settlement

made

by,

394

;

;

;

of,

211, 243,

244 Mary's College, celebration at, 216 St. Paul (Minnesota), mention of, 389; arrival of Scotch at, 392 Sampson, W. T., Iowa commanded St.

Ross, John, James Wilson taught by, 68 in Rubart, Ida, membership of, Pleasant Hill Dramatic Club, 26 Roe, membership of, in Rubart, Pleasant Hill Dramatic Club, 26 Bufus Putnam (steamer), rapids crossed by, 148 Ruggles, G. P., record of, in field meet, 148

Running broad jump, winner

of,

143,

147

103;

by,

flagship by, 105

accepted by, 103; conference held

gift of,

104

Samuel Pearsall

;

(schooner),

capture

36

of,

Sandusky

plan to capture passenger gunboat at, 39, 41; route to, 40 Confederate agents islands north of, at, 40, 43, 48 43 Island Queen from, 44 Sandwich (Canada), boat at, 41, 42, 49 Confederate agents at, 42, 43, (Ohio), ;

;

Running high jump, records in, 148 Russia, war declared on, 57; wheat exported by, 61

57;

ports

blockaded

in,

Sjiber swinging, exhibition of, 149

Sac Indians, Tesson's

French

136;

army

visit

defeated

to,

by,

123

;.

204

service of, on rapids, 363; village of, 364 Sacramento (California), mention of, 243, 335; Kelly's army at, 328 Saguenay River, survey of region near, by Joliet, 248 Sailors, Spanish, bravery of, 109

;

;

49 San Francisco (California), Iowa in harbor at, 109; industrial army at, 327, 328; mention of, 344, 404 Sankey, Mr., membership of, in theatrical company, 18 Santiago (Cuba), Iowa at, 103, 104; battle at, 103-109, 110 Sault Ste. Marie, commerce in, 208 expedition at, 211; Marquette at, 231; celebration at, 243, 244 Savage, A. C, election of, on execu-

;;

INDEX tive committee,

139

superintendent,

145,

Savanna

(Illinois),

service of, as

;

146 buying of grain

at, 54 Savery House, waiter from, 98 of, Scandinavians, settlements Iowa, 297 Scenery, accident to, 21, 22 ^'chaeffer,, Charles A., presence at mass meeting, 140

451

wood

settlement

capture in

made of, at,

fort

387;

Scientists, employment of, by Department of Agriculture, 73, 74

hardships of, 379-382, 390entertainment of, at Fort Gibralter, 385; offers made to, 385; return of, to Red River, 386;

Scotch,

396;

by North-West Company, 387; Indian treaties with, 387; dissatisfaction of, in Red River Valley, 388; utensils used by, 395; heritage of, 397 Scotch Grove, Red River colonists at, 391, 392, 393; early days in, 394, 395, 396; relics at, 394, 395, 396; first church at, 396 use of Gaelic language at, 396 Scotch evangelist at, 396; education at, 396, killing of,

386,

;

;

397

campaign

in,

387; offers 387; death

Red River

Settlement, Scots restrictions on North-

379;

388; journey Semple,

385; 397

at,

"to,

Robert,

rival of, of,

by,

trial of,

388

west Company

Schaeffer, Elizabeth, prizes distributed by, 141, 144 Schley, W. S., battleship in command of, 104, 105 Schools, provisions for, 396, 397

;

382, 387, 389, 397;

of,

of

by,

Selkirk's of,

404

elected by,

406 Selkirk, Earl of, agents of, 381, 389;

map

of,

386; arat Red River, 386; death office

of,

387

Senate (United States), Grant bill passed by, 84; debate in, on capital removal, 168; opposition in, to new Territory, 287, 288; Kirk-

wood in, 406, 421 Seven Oaks (Canada), attack at, 387 Seventy-five yard dash, records in, 146, 148 Shafter, William R., conference with, 105 Shakespeare Coffee House and Free Admission News Room, theater in, 15 Shakespeare Hall, description of, 15, 16; play given

appearance

Shambaugh, storer

of,

in,

18, 23; dis-

17,

24

Bertha M.

H.,

Re-

Iowa Palimpsests, 253-

of

266

Scotch Grove Township, volunteers in Civil War from, 397 Scotch Grove Trail, The, by Bruce E. Mahan, 379-397 Scotland, James Wilson from, 66 emigration from, 294, 296, 66,

379; discipline in homes of, 66, allotments to emigrants from, 68 384, 385; mention of, 387; relics of, 390 Scott, Sir Walter, reading of stories of, 68 Scott County, wheat crop in, 59 Scrap-Boohs of a Quiet Little Lady with Silvery Hair, The, by Bertha M. H. Shambaugh, 401-427 Scrap-books, Mrs. Kirkwood's love for, 401; donation of, to State Historical Society, 401; use of, 401, 402 description of, 402, 403 contents of, 402, 403, 406-427; his;

;

value 426, 427

torical

Seattle

of,

418,

419,

425,

(Washington), totem pole

at,

417 Sebastopol

(Russia),

siege of, 61 Second Congressional

port

of,

District,

57; Kirk-

Shambaugh,

Bertha

M.

H.,

The

Scrap-Book of a Quiet Little Lady with Silvery Hair, 401-427 Shamrock (steamer), voyage of, 366 Sharp, Abbie Gardner, book by, 282, 283 Shaw, Henry W., mention of, 190 Shaw, Leslie M., position of, 429 Sheep, shipment of, to Canada, 388, 389 Sheldon, mention of, 113, 119 Shellcross, by, 367

John, steamer

commanded

Shepard, Charles, remarks of, on western lands, 285, 286, 287 Sheriff of Pottawattamie County, activities of, concerning Kelly's army, 329, 331 Sherman, Buren R., visit of, to Kirkwood, 408, 409 Sherman, Hoyt, appointment of, as delegate to National vention, 169

Sherman, W. ment by, on

T.,

Capital

Con-

study of, 34; stateremoval of national

capital, 160, 161 "Shielings", description of, 379, 380 Shipping, suspending of, 54

THE PALIMPSEST

452

Shot put, records in, 139, 144, 147 Siboney (Cuba), conference at, 105

Squatter, character of, 294 Stafford, Mr., membership of, in the-

Sick, care for, 334 Donald, Sinclair,

atrical company, 18 Stalwarts, reference to, 424 Standing broad jump, records in, 144, 148 Standing high jump, records in, 143 Star Spangled Banner, playing of, 112

Scotch Grove,

arrival

391,

392;

at

of,

anecdote

about, 392 Sinclair, Mrs. Donald, stories by, 393 (Wisconsin), Mound Sinsinawa George W. Jones at, 348 Sioux County, mention of, 117; visit of committee to, 196, 197 Skip-to-My-Lou, playing of, 25

Jeremiah,

Slattery,

State tion

of, at arrival participa-

138;

University, of,

in

lovp^a

first

meet,

field

139, 142, 143, 144, 146, 147, 148; service of, in Boer War, 150 Slattery, William P., arrival of, at 138; participaState University, tion of, in first Iowa field meet, 139, 142, 143, 144, 146, 147, 148 Slew grass, use of, for fuel, 117

Smelter

(laoat).

Burrow's

trip

on,

301

Morgan L., commanded by, 7

Smith,

fight

brigade

of

Tom, part of, in court mar355 "Smug Old Lady", Hudson's Bay Company nicknamed, 388 Snake Hollow, Burrows at, 301 Snakes, abundance of, 9 Soil, chemical analysis of, 76 Soldiers, presence of, in Congress, 84 Smith, tial,

South, hopes of, new products

39; introduction of 76 South America, trip around, 105 South Bass Island (Lake Erie), vessel at, 43 (Burlington), Hill Square South in,

mention of, 179 Southern Pacific army on, 328

Railroad,

Kelly's

Southey, Robert, poem by, 199 Sovereign, James R., appearance of, 342, 343; declaration of, 342, 343 Spain, war of, with United States, 104, 105; Louisiana under conland grants from, 122, trol of, 122 364; mines of, 123; traders of, seekers from, gold 206; 124; thwarting of, by French, 211; use of coins from, 301 Speaks, Valentine, service of, as pi;

lot,

Spirit

372

Lake Massacre, causes

of,

282,

283 Sport, importance of, 170-172 Sprigg, Jenifer T., survey by,

Confederate, MAHan, 33-52

Spy,

A.

by

returns certified to, 78, 79 Historical State Society of

Mrs.

E.

Kirkwood's

photograph

Iowa, for,

415 State University of Iowa, part of, in first field meet, 137-150 Steamboat Rock, killing of man at, 269; counterfeit money made at, 270; mention of, 272 Steamboat Rock (Mississippi River), accident at, 371 Steamboats, navigation of, on Mississippi, 361, 364, 365, 366, 378;

crossing of rapids by, 365, 366, 373; men connected with, 367, 366, 367 Stevedores, name given to, 399 Stock, selling of, by bridge company, 308, 310, 311 Stone, William M., message of, 91 H., record of, in track Stotts, J. meet, 144, 148 Stowaway (Scotland), port of, 382 field serving of, Strawberries, at meet, 145, 149 Stromness (Scotland), port of, 383 Sucker (lighter-boat), building of, 376, 377 Suffrage, vote on amendment of, 97 Sugar Creek, settlement on, 297 Sulpitian missionaries, party of, 243 Supervisors, county board of, election report of, of James Wilson to, 70 on election returns, 79, 80 Supreme Court of Iowa, decision cited from, 79, 80; appeal to, 278; decision of, concerning Rainsbarger ;

case, 279 Supreme Court

decision

of,

of the United States,

in

Riddick case, 130

Alexander, migration of, to Iowa, 389, 390 Sutherland, Donald, arrival of, at Scotch Grove, 391, 392 Sutherland, Ebenezer, arrival of, at Scotch Grove, 391, 392; church in Sutherland,

home

367

Bruce

organizaState athletic association, tion of, 138, 139 State Board of Canvassers, election

of,

396

Sutherland, John, coming 389, 390

of, to

Iowa,

;

INDEX Sutherland, Duchess of, attitude of peasants toward, 381 emigrants Sutherland (Scotland), from, 379, 380 in, parishes 381; Sutherlandshire, tenants of, 381, 383; settlers from, 386, 397 Swisher, Jacob A., The Capital on Wheels, 151-169 Switzerland, emigrants from, 389 Svoboda, Ed., service of, as starter,

146 office of, 126 James Wilson in cabinet

Tablaux, P. A., Taft,

W.

of,

77

H.,

Talon, Jean, service of, for France, 210, 211, 242; Joliet chosen by, to recall of, explore Mississippi, 244 to France, 245 ;

of ballot box at, 82 Tesson at, 136 Tama County, Scotch settlement in, 66; Representative from, 71; construction of railroad in, 97 Sarah Knox, courtship of, Taylor, 354-356; departure of, from Fort Crawford, 357; appeal of, 357; marriage of, 357; death of, 357 Zachary, mention of, 129, Taylor, 357; arrival of, at Fort Crawford, 349; family of, 349; relations of, with Jefferson Davis, 350, 355,

Tama, opening J.

356, 357

Taylor Township (Marshall County), election returns from, 78, 80, 81, 82 Telegrams, mention of, 423, 424 Temperance, supporter of, 97 Tennis, matches for, 141, 145, 146 Tesson, Edward, mention of, 136 Tesson, Francis, mention of, 136 Tesson, Joseph, mention of, 136 Tesson, Louis, service of, 364; survey of land of, for town sites, 367 Tesson, Louis Honor6, land grant to, 122, 123, 124, 128, 133; voyages visits of, of, on Mississippi, 123 contract of, to Sac Indians, 123 imwith Spanish officials, 125 provements on farm of, 125; famdifficulties 125, 135, 136; ily of, encountered by, 125, 126, 127; meeting of, with Z. M. Pike, 127; disappearance of, 128 Tesson, Michael, mention of, 136 Tesson's Apple Orchard, by Ben Hue Wilson. 121-131 Tete des Mort, voyageurs at, 227 ;

;

;

Texas

(battleship),

harbor, 105

position

of,

in

453

Thespians,

The Iowa, by Bruce E.

Mahan, 14-24 Thirteenth

General Assembly, organization of, 94; herd law in, 94-97

Thompson,

Jacob,

campaign

led

by,

40; implication of, in assassination of Lincoln, 50 Three-legged race, forfeiture of, 147, 37,

38,

39,

148 Three Rivers (Canada), mention of, 207, 242; Marquette at, 230, 231 Throckmorton, Joseph, steamer commanded by, 367 Timber, securing of, 347 Titus, Ellis, membership of, in Pleasant Hill Dramatic Club, 26 Titus, Frances, meeting held at home of, 26 Titus, Vira, membership of, in Pleasant Hill Dramatic Club, 26 Torrev,

C.

service

A.,

of,

as

timer,

146 Track meets, introduction of, at the State University, 137, 138 Track suits, introduction of, in Iowa, 142 Traders, visit of, to Tesson, 125 Trades Assembly Hall, meeting at,

340 Traer, John W., resolution of, for removal of national capital, 164 Traer, Scotch settlement near, 66 Traer Star-Clipper, editor of, 66, 67 Trains, capture of, 327, 328, 334 Transports, capture of, 36 Transylvania University, mention of, 348, 349

Trappist monks, visit to, 227 Trudeau, Zenon, land grant by, 124 of war, forfeiture of, 147,

issued

Tug

148

"Turn Him Out", performance

of,

26,

27 Tuttle, J. M.,

appointment

of,

as del-

egate to National Capital Convention, 156 Twain, Mark, dialect used by characters of, 399; reference to, 402 .James Assembly, General Twelfth Wilson in, 90; railroad legislation 91 in, 90-94; message to, Two hundred and twenty yard run, records in, 143, 144, 148 Typhoid fever, siege of, on vessel, 383

Umbrella, offer

of,

as prize, 141, 144

post-mortem examination held by. 273; attack on, of, 276; testimony 278; 275, 274,

Underwood,

office of,

Myron,

278

;;;

THE PALIMPSEST

454

Unemployed, army of, 325-327 Unemployment, plan for relief of, 325 Union Pacific Railroad, capture of train of, 328; cars of, 334 United States, protection of northern boundary of, 37; depredations on coast of, 40 prisoner extradited to, 50; produce merchants in, 53; war of, with Mexico, 54; prices in, 61; shipment of butter from, 74, 75 war of, with Spain, 104, 105; entrance of, into World War, 110; first land grant to Iowa by, 128 Indian agent of, 134, 135; ceding of land to, by Indians, 136; proposals to move capital of, 151-169; organized sport in, 170-172 President of, 352, 428, 429; territory taken by, 363 sheep shipped from, 388 United States army, Davis' resigna;

;

;

tion from,

356

United States Arsenal, voyageurs

at,

227 United

States

Dragoons,

companies

in Iowa, 129 College, participation of, in State field meet, 148 Upper Mississippi Valley, guarding of, 347; conduct of Jefferson Davis of,

Upper Iowa

357

in,

Upper

Scotch

Grove,

settlement

of,

394 Ure,

S.

R.,

record

of,

in field meet,

147 Valentine,

Edward

K., request of,

Vandemark, Jacob, story

Vandemark Township, Vandemark's

Folly,

of,

message

81

266

history

of,

in,

266 253;

incidents in, 254, 255, 256, 257, 260, 261, 262; quotations from, 260; characters in, 261; estimate of, 262, 263, 264 Van Ek, Jacob, A Contested Election,

78-89

Ventures in Wheat, by J. M. D. BUBEOWS, 53-62 of, Vicksburg (Mississippi), siege 175 mention of, 357 ;

The, comment by, athletic training, 140 Vigilance society, formation of, 274; exploits of, 274, 275, 276 Virginia, John Y. Beall from, 34, 35 Yidette-Reporter,

on

attacks along coast of, 36; march to, 39; Iowa off coast of, 109, 110; emigrants from, 400 Virginia (steamer), ascent of, over rapids, 365, 366 Yizcaya (battleship), destruction of,

105, 106, 107, 108; rescue of crew from, 108 Voiles, Charles, killing of, 269 Voting, privilege of, 72 Voyageurs of 1923, expedition

of,

216-228 Wages, lowering of, 325 Wainwright, Richard, Admiral Cervera escorted by, 108, 109 Wales, emigrants from, 296 Wallace, Jocelyn, An Iowa Doone Band, 267-280 Walnut Creek, camp at, 339 War, poem relating to, 6 declaration of, 57 War, Department of, survey made for, 362 War, Secretary of, refusal of request by, 51; orders of, to Indian agents, 134; report to, 368 ;

"War

Correspondent",

statement

of,

337, 338 Warren, Mr., membership of, in theatrical company, 18 Warren, Pitz Henry, trial held by, 51 Warren County (Pennsylvania), R. J. Burdette in, 191 Warrior (steamer), voyage of, 366 Warships, American, 102, 104 Warships, Spanish, 103, 104, 105 Washington (D. C), James Wilson's home in, 72 agricultural laboratories at, 73; visitors in, 84; officials from, 101; ijroposal to move 151-169; capital from, Coxey's army in, 325, 326; Kelly's army at, 327, 341, 342, 344, 345; society in, 415, 416; Kirkwood's statue at, 417; Kirkwood in, 421 Washington Hotel (Dubuque), mention of, 24 ;

Washington Post, report by, 424, 425 "Waterman, The", performance of, 22 Weather, reports of, 75 Weaver, James B., Kelly's army aided by, 339, 340, 343; speech of, 340; supporters of, 420; votes for, 428 Weeks, John W., position of, 428 Weld, Laenas G., Pointing the Way, 205-214 West, Jim, boat piloted by, 372 West, Joshua, telegram sent by, 272 West, new products for, 76 demand for removal of national capital to, 151-169; characterization of, 321323, 358, 359; dissatisfaction in, 358-360; politics of, 358, 359 ;

West Newton (steamer), accident 371

to,

;

INDEX West West

Point, Jefferson Davis at, 346 Virginia, Kelly's army in, 344 Western Engineer (steamer), arrival of, at rapids, 364 Western Reserve Law Journal, article in, 406 Weston, Kelly's army at, 334, 335 Wheat, speculation in, 53-62 price ;

of, 54, 55, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62; freight on, 59; crop of, 59; loss of

cargo

61 Wheat, Ventures in, by J. M. D. Burrows, 53-62 Wheeler, C. T., business of, 58 Wheeling (West Virginia), proposed march to, 39 Whiskey, use of, 290, 291 Whiskey Rebellion, mention of, 358 Whisler, Mr., purchase of wheat from, 56 Whitmore, Mr., farm of, 119 Willcox, W. v., post-mortem examination held by, 272, 273 William Wallace (steamer), voyage of, 366 Wilson, Ben Hur, service of, 250 Wilson, Ben Hur, Over the Rapids, 361-378 Wilson, Ben Hur, lesson's Apple Orchard, 121-131 Wilson, Hiram, vote of, for removal of national capital, 154 Wilson, James, characterization of, 65-77; early life of, 66; editorial work of, 66, 67; political activities of,

66, 67, 70-78, 80, 90, 91, 94, 97,

of,

429; education of, 68; farm of, 70 relation of, with farmers, 69-77; scientific study of agriculture by, 70, 71; national recognidairy problem intion of, 71, 72 defeat of, vestigated by, 74, 75 78 popularity of, 78 election contest of, 83, 89; speech by, 88, 98; attitude of, on railroads, 92, 93 herd law advocated by, 94, 95, 96; attitude of, on prohibition and equal suffrage, 97; election of, as Speaker of the House, 97, 98 Wilson, James F., appointment of, as delegate to National Capital Con98, 69,

;

;

;

;

;

vention,

156

Wilson, John, character of, 67 Wilson, Mrs. John, character of, 67 Wilson, Peter, farm of, 66; service of,

in Civil

Wilson,

War, 70

"Tama Jim",

(see

Wilson,

455

Wilson,

Woodrow,

358 Windsor

quotation

(Canada), 38, 40, 49

from,

Confederates

120 Wisconsin, story from, 347, 348;

346; timber Indians in, 349,

of,

350, 352

Wisconsin (Territory), division of, 285 Wisconsin (steamer), voyage of, 366 Wisconsin River, mention of, 121, 249, 301; portage at, 209, 349; expedition on, 213, 216; crossing of, by Burrows, 302, 303 Wolf Creek (Tama County), Scotch settlement on, 66 Women, needs of, on farms, 76, 77

Woodbury, E., record of, in meet, 148 Woodbury, G. M., appointment delegate to National vention, 156

field of,

Capital

of,

66

as

Con-

Woodbury County,

political incident 283, 284 Woodmen of the World, aid given to in,

Kelly's

Woodruff,

army by, 334 James E., business

inter-

of, 53; foresight of, 55; visit 57; advice of, 57, 58; shipping of grain to, 61 Woodruff Brothers, firm of, 53 World War, part of Iowa in, 110; names on muster rolls of, 397 Wright, Mr., membership of, in theatrical company, 18 Wright, George G., speech by, 409 Wright, James D., resolution by, against appropriations for build-

ests

to,

ings at Washington, 162

Xavier,

Francois,

mission

remarks by, 239; report

of, of,

236;

362

of, on schooner, 36; terrorizing of, 39 Yates, Richard, capital removal advocated by, 168 Yellow River, sawmill on, 350 Yewell portrait, unveiling of, 410 York Factory (Canada), Scots at, 383, 384 Young, John S., arrest made by, 50

Yankees, firing

James) Wilson, West, farm

at,

Winnebago (steamer), voyage of, 366 Winnipeg (Canada), Scotch at, 384 Winter of Eighty-One, The, by Josephine Baery Donovan, 113-

Zmunt, W., baseball throw

of,

147

THE STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF IOWA Elstablished

by the Pioneers

Located

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1

Iowa City Iowa

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